The SoCalCycling.com Team was well represented at the Vlees Huis Ronde Road Race with Innokenty Zavyalov, Erick Sobey and Wesley Eslick. The Pro 1,2 field of around 40 guys was stacked with some top riders from various pro teams from the United States. The race was held on a very tough and hilly course near Bakersfield with over 7,500 feet of climbing over the 90 mile race.
The race started off pretty fast with some attacks going early on. Around 6 miles in, a group of four riders got themselves off the front of the group and built up a gap of around 30 seconds. The SoCalCycling.com Team put ourselves in the race and set some serious pacing up the first climb to try bring the group of four riders back in. After the first turn around, the gap was still at the 30 second mark with a lot of guys putting in some serious attacks to try get themselves across to the break but from all the fast attacks the group managed to bring the breakaway riders back in. From the second turn around, the racing was still very aggressive with lots of attacks from all the riders in the group up until the start of the second lap.
Photos by Frank Sarate / SoCalCycling.com
Once we stared to reach the start/finish area there was a prime of $ 100, which a few riders had their eyes on which made that final climb up to the start/finish a fast one.
On the flat section of the second lap, there was a big split that went off from the field. We had Innokenty Zavyalov up there in the split. The second group was working really hard to get themselves back into the race up the climb and by the time we reached the first turn around we managed to get ourselves back into the group. Innokenty was doing a lot of work at the front to try get a breakaway going but nothing was to go.
Once we hit the flat section back to the start/finish threw was a breakaway that got off the front of the group. Innokenty and I were putting in some solid work to try get one of us across to the front group. Eventually Innokenty put in a huge effort to get off the front of the group and he was on his way to cross over to the front group of riders. The race at this stage was completely split up in small groups.
By the first turn around Patrik Ericsson (Centric Bikes) and Ulises Castillo (KHS-Maxxis-JlVelo) got away with Inno (SoCalCycling.com) and Cory Lockwood (KHS-Maxxis-JlVelo) trying to cross over. Inno was working very hard to get himself to the front two leaders but that was not to be.
Coming to the line, Ulises Castillo (KHS-Maxxis-JlVelo)r attacked up the final climb to take the win with Patrik Ericsson (Centric Bikes) taking second and Inno Zavyalov (SoCalCycling.com) taking third.
The SoCalCycling.com Team rode and aggressive race and we were very happy to take home another podium for the Team and our sponsors.
A huge thanks needs to go out to our SoCalCycling.com Team sponsors for making it all possible.
By Wesley Eslick, SoCalCycling.com Team