The 90 mile second stage of Chico Stage race in Paskenta, California started out early and very
brisk with temperatures just above 40. The course entails two large 45 mile windy laps of
mostly flat but with some undulating hills. The final 15 miles of each lap was most demanding
with very bad pavement, a long section gravel road that kicks upwards, and then back to
pavement for about a 1km climb before it slopes downhill and then flat in the last couple miles.
As the race got under way the team plan was to get someone in the early move if said move
had at least 1 or 2 of the larger teams represented.
Gavin and Sam A.M were active all day on the front following into moves however nothing really substantial ever established itself. Eventually two lone riders escaped off the front and had a fair advantage over the field. Once
we had completed one lap I realized this could be a great race for me as the long gravel section
and hill could prove to be too hard for the pure sprinters and that I could then snag the finish. I
told the guys and as we started the second lap everyone was on board to get us in a winning
position for either Gavin or I. Torrey ended up putting in a lot of work for probably 30 miles to
help bring back that small breakaway. As we approached the final 20 miles Blake, Justin, and
Willie all put in work to keep the rest of us in the front and out of any trouble.
Once we turned onto the gravel sector Sam AM, Gavin, and Boardman, all rode in the first 10 wheels to continue
to keep us out of trouble and kept the pace high. With about 3kms to go we started up that last hill and the Rally guys
threw some good attacks however Sam AM and Boardman did great to keep everything
together to the end. With about 200 meters to go I found myself about 10 wheels back
however the sprint was slightly uphill and headwind so I knew that was an okay place to be. I
saw Gavin start to open up his sprint a few wheels ahead of me and I followed the momentum
up towards his wheel with about 100meters to go. With probably less than 50m till the line I
punched it again to sneak around Gavin and to claim the Win! Gavin finished just behind
making it a beautiful 1-2 finish! I honestly can’t thank the team enough for how awesome that
day ended. I was blessed with the opportunity to ride with the team this year and I am just
stoked that I was able to deliver for everyone.
By Quinten Kirby, aka Tin-Tin <3