The six of us got to Puerto Rico with no issues and all our bikes and equipment showed up. Unusual, but we will take it. We went on two spin rides and played a whole bunch of dominos the past two days, trying to pass the time as the dregs of tropical storm Gert passed over the island, soaking everything to the bone. The sun finally broke through today for the first stage. One of the shortest road races on the calendar, it is strangely one of the hardest. It’s only 45 miles and 4500 ft of climbing, but there is nowhere to hide after the first 15 minutes of the race, and this year was no exception.
The race started like any race in Latin America should, with a riders’ chinarello fork snapping apart at the steerer tube 15 meters into the neutral rollout. Folks, please buy genuine bikes. There is a reason why properly engineered products have a premium price.
Once the race finally got underway, Blake started things off with the first break of the race. 2 other riders bridged up and they were off for the first 20 minutes. The peloton made the catch right at the top of the first climb and it was all together for the main descent. Once the road flattened back out, Gavin (guestrider) and Blake hit the field with a 1-2 and Blake ended up back off the front again with 3 other riders. Fast-forward 20 minutes and they hit the main 30 minute climb with a 2-minute lead. Everything exploded as soon as the climbing began because that’s just how they race in Latin America. It quickly became a handful of small 4-6 rider groups scattered on the rolling climbs. When the dust settled 30 minutes later from the initial onslaught, Gavin was in the lead group chasing a solo leader, Colin (guestrider), Dave, and Blake were chasing just behind, with Adam (guestider) and Nate in the next chase group.
A handful more 2 to 5 minute rollers tore the small groups even more apart before the finish. Gavin ended up 4th, tied for GC time for 2nd place with the solo leader 4 minutes up the road. Colin and Dave finished 9th and 10th respectively, with Colin just a minute back from the podium. The rest of the squad was all in the top 25. We are looking forward to animating the race tomorrow and trying to score a stage win and secure a top 3 finish in the general classification.