The Ladera Ranch Grand Prix of Cycling is held on a great course that has technical elements with some slight elevation, which will put some sting in the legs over the duration of the race. Today, Mother Nature was not so kind as the temperature rose to triple digits to make for a hot and muggy day. This created room for breakaways to happen in most of the categories as the races became a race of attrition.
Masters 45+ Race
The 45 + race started with around fifty riders, with the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Masters Team and BBI/SIC Team fielding the strongest teams. There were a few breaks that gained a few seconds, but they did not really open up the needed space. BBI/SIC had the most members of the teams and kept the race in check and brought back most of the breakaway attempts. With the laps closing down, the 45 + race was first race of the day that came down to a field sprint with Rich Meeker (Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Masters Team) taking the win, followed by Bill Harris (BBI/SIC) for second and Alan Flores (Spy Blue) in third.
Women’s 1-3 Race
A small women’s field of around twenty women started the race. Things got going that saw a few breaks go up the road. Finally the field split up and with a break of three women that escaped the pack which included Alexis Ryan (Tibco), Jenny Rios (SC Velo/Empower Coaching) and Joy McCulloch (Team Helens). Ryan went on to drop her companions and soloed in for the win.
Pro 1/2 Race
A nice sized field started the race which saw the professional Mountain Khakis / SmartStop Team come out to support their there sponsor SmartStop Self Storage, who also sponsored the Ladera Ranch Criterium. The pressure was on from the beginning with a three man break going up the road. The break didn’t contain a Mountain Khakis / SmartStop rider, so they kept the field within striking distance for a field sprint. With the weather cooling down for the Pro 1/2 race, the peloton stayed at a high speed. With the race single file for most of the race, many riders dropped off the pace which left about half of the field remaining.
Some solo attempts were made to get away from the field, but it was to no avail as the Mountain Khakis / SmartStop team started to line it up for their sprinter, Shane Kline. Kline delivered the win in a close finish over CashCall’s Justin Williams, followed by Enrique Aldape (CaliMax) for third.
SoCalCycling.com/Echelon Design Team ‘s Andrew Bosco rode a good race and came in 12th.
Story & Photo by Frank Sarate, SoCalCycling.com