The Glendora Mountain Road TT course served up a double helping of back-to-back stage wins Friday, as Ben Day (Fly V Australia) and Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12) repeated their 2009 stage 1 wins at the San Dimas Stage Race.
The 3.8-mile Glendora Mountain route climbed 1,300 vertical feet over a series of winding corners with a 5 percent grade.
Day won the men’s hill climb in a time of 12:53.79, while Paul Mach (Bissell) finished second in 12:58.81. Sid Taberlay (California Giant-Specialized) rounded out the podium, eight seconds off Day’s pace.
Day covered the 3.8-mile climb on Glendora Mountain Road at a pace that put him nine seconds outside of his winning time of one year ago.
“My ride wasn’t quite up to par with what I did last year, but where I am with my preparation, I’m actually pretty surprised about how well I’m going, how I’m feeling right now,” said Day. “I’ve had a nice, gradual build up and I’m only about half way through my preparation right now, so I’m really happy with where things are at.”
Day will take a five-second lead into Saturday’s stage 2 road race, a tighter margin than he enjoyed in 2009 when he leveraged the stage win into an overall win. With time bonuses on the offer at intermediate hot spots and finishes in the remaining two stages, Day acknowledged the difficulty of defending the lead at San Dimas. But he was confident in his team.
“From now on, the way this race has been raced the last couple of years, time bonuses are fairly important,” he said. “Oh jeez, my boys are sprinting so well, they could take this bloody tour out yet. We’ll see, I could be working for them come Sunday.”
Mara Makes It Two-In-A-Row
Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12) marked her return to the U.S. domestic peloton Friday with a time trial win. Abbott crossed the line in 14:31.14, ahead of Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) at 14:47.49 and Alisha Welsh (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12) at 15:06.76.
Abbott’s winning time was a full 30 seconds faster than her winning effort in 2009, when she rode for Columbia-HTC.
“It could be that this year it was a faster course with some good winds,” Abbott said. “It tends to be a windy course. I had a really good off-season of training. I’m happy and I had a good day out there. I had a lot of fun for a time trial.”
Abbott is happy to kick off her season on the familiar roads of San Dimas.
“This is the friendliest season opener you could ask for. I love hill climbs and it’s a really well supported race, it’s a great atmosphere and I love the course,” she said. “It’s really enjoyable and to be able to come back after the winter off and see what you have in the legs is a really good indication for the rest of the season.”
Defending the overall lead could prove challenging for Abbott and her Peanut Butter & Co. teammates. Abbott’s then-teammate Teutenberg took the race lead in 2009 with stage wins each of the final two days at San Dimas. This year, however, Teutenberg is 1:23 in arrears.
The men and women tackle the San Dimas Hospital Road Race Saturday, which follows a 7-mile circuit around Bonelli Park. The men face 12 laps for a total of 84 miles, while the women run eight laps for 56 miles.
The circuit rolls over a series of short climbs, the steepest of which, Cannon Avenue, tops out with a 13 percent grade. While steep, the climbs facing riders in stage 2 are short enough that the pelotons will likely roll into the finish intact for bunch sprints.
On the men’s side, Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home), Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) and Cody O’Reilly (Bissell) are among the favorites headed into a bunch finish Saturday. Teutenberg and Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12) should be in the mix in the finale of the women’s race.