The 2015 edition of the Dana Point Grand Prix delivered a great day of racing in the beautiful beachside community of Dana Point. Year after year, the Dana Point Grand Prix delivers a top notch event and venue that is hosted by a great staff and friendly community of residents and volunteers.
The day was filled with fast racing and nice crowds throughout the day that came out to cheer on the riders and enjoy the expo area and beer gardens. With the Pro Men’s and Women’s events both on the National Criterium Calendar the racing was guaranteed to be fast with deep talent.
With perfect weather and an ocean view, the Pro Women’s event boasted a $12,000 prize purse, which was equal to the Pro Men’s prize purse. Some of the best criterium riders lined up including cagey veterans Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Tina Pic (Pepper Palace). In addition, newly crowned National Criterium Champion Kendall Ryan (Team Tibco-SVB) lined up in her new Stars ‘n Stripes jersey.
In the end, the race came down to a field sprint with Erica Allar (Colavita Women’s Racing) taking the win, followed by Samantha Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice) in 2nd and Kendall Ryan (Team Tibco-SVB) in 3rd.
Photos © Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com
In the Pro Men’s race, a breakaway of four riders, which included Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare), Ty Magner (Hincapie Racing), Ryan Aitcheson (Astellas Cycling) and David Santos (KHS-Maxxis-JL Velo), escaped the peloton early in the race. Last years winner and US Elite Criterium Champion, Daniel Holloway (Alto Velo) missed the break but was determined to try to bring it back and spent several laps trying to do so by drilling it on the front. With one lap to go, riders overshot the first turn causing a crash and chaos as riders lost position trying to avoid it. Unfortunately, SoCal favorite Justin Williams (Astellas Cycling) hit the deck hard and was down for a bit, but luckily walked away okay.
The breakaway narrowly held it to the end with Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare) taking the victory ahead of Ty Magner (Hincapie Racing) in 2nd and Ryan Aitcheson (Astellas Cycling) in 3rd. Menzies said, “The break rode well together till 6 laps to go when people started sitting on and attacking. With the bunch bearing down on us with 1 lap to go, Ty Magner [Hincapie Racing Team] lead out the breakaway and I was able to just come round him down the home straight to take the win.”
A few days heading into the race, there was some concern on social media from some riders about the road construction heading into the final turn and finishing straight due to the City of Dana Point revitalizing the Del Prado Lantern District. The City of Dana Point, Dana Point Grand Prix and construction crew did a great job of having the course and expo area dialed come race day and there was no doubt in our mind that they would! For those that decided to sit the DPGP out based on this, they missed a great day of racing!
We are already looking forward to the 2016 edition of the Dana Point Grand Prix!
Check back to SoCalCycling.com for more coverage, video and photos from the Dana Point Grand Prix. To view a full Photo Gallery, please visit EchelonDesignPhoto.com as photos will be available there.
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Report by Christy Nicholson / SoCalCycling.com