805 Criterium Weekend Valley of Flowers Criterium

The 805 Criterium Weekend wrapped up with Valley of Flowers Criterium in Lompoc on Sunday under cooler conditions.  The course was held in downtown Lompoc on a fun figure 8-shaped course with six right hand and two left hand turns which offered a fast, technical playground for the riders.

The course had some cool murals and many riders commented that it was similar to the Barrio Logan Grand Prix, a SoCal race favorite that is also technical and has a cool ambiance.

Title Sponsor Firestone Walker had a nice beer garden set up next to the expo for everyone to enjoy and Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Hegg kept the crowd entertained on the mic as the race announcer throughout the day.

A full Photo Gallery is posted and photos are available at EchelonDesignPhoto.com.

Photos ©  Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com

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The Women’s race was animated by the Helen’s Team which saw Priscilla Calderon pick up four primes along the way.  With one to go, the Helen’s Team lined it up to set up their sprinter Suzanne Sonye who took the win ahead of Alexis Ryan (NOW).

The men’s field was small, but once again stacked with talent. This was a great course that would challenge your bike handling skills with the wind and corners making it a somewhat technical course. After getting the first few laps out of the way, most of the riders got into their rhythm. The attacks started early, with Team CashCall coming to the race with more numbers over the other teams. This allowed them to start launching attacks within the first few laps which made for a fast race for the field as they were always trying to chase the breaks down. So, with the wind and constant attacking it made for very little recovery. If your fitness was off it made for a difficult race.

After about 15 minutes, the break was getting established and it made the field strung out for many laps and you could see small groups trying to get across and form small chase groups. The main break consisted of six riders including Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Brandon Gritters (Rokform/Rock N Road), Brian Forbes (VeloVie), Jessie Anthony (Optum) and CashCall teammates Logan Loader and Michael Weicht. A chase group of three including Phil Gaimon (Bissell), Ken Hanson (Optum) and David Santos (CashCall)  eventually bridged to the lead group and then lapped the field.

A full Photo Gallery is posted and photos are available at EchelonDesignPhoto.com.

Photos ©  Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com

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Gaimon, Santos, Gritters and Jacques-Maynes escaped the pack bridging to another break andd eventually sprinted it out for the win from this group with Jacques-Maynes taking the victory over Santos in 2nd and Gritters in 3rd.

The 805 Criterium Weekend hosted top notch events at both the Avenue of the Flags and Valley of the Flowers Criteriums with excellent courses and prize money, a fun atmosphere and well run organization. If you missed out this year, then be sure to mark it on your calendars to do for next year!

A full Photo Gallery is posted and photos are available at EchelonDesignPhoto.com.

805 Criterium Weekend Valley of Flowers Criterium Winners

Pro 1/2 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis /Hagens Berman)
Cat 4/5 Robert MacPherson (South Bay Wheelman)
Cat 3 Andres Malovos (Platinum Performance Cycling Team)
Cat 4 Christopher Rea (UCSB Cycling)
Cat 5 Justin Kiel (SBBC)
Masters 35+ 3/4 James Chao (Michelob Ultra- LaGrange +21)
Masters 35+ Ivan Dominguez (MRI Endurance Elite Masters)
Masters 45+ Armin Rahm (Time – Velo Pasadena)
Masters 55+ Kim  Bieth (Rokform / Rock N Road)
Masters 60+ Kalman Szkalak (UC Cyclery /JW Floors)
Women 3/4 Michelle Ignash (Helen’s Racing)
Women’s 1-3 Suzanne Sonye (Helen’s Racing)

Full Results

Photos © Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com/

Report by Christy Nicholson & Frank Sarate / SoCalCycling.com

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