The Easter Sunday Grand Prix was held on a new course in Jurupa Valley for the second time this year by race organizers Pacific Sunset Velo. The course, which is getting good feedback from the riders, is a challenging course that lends itself to riders with a reasonable amount of fitness.
In the Pro 1/2 race, the field had the Cylance-Incycle Team had a good showing with six riders who just were coming off their training camp. Centric and the SoCalCycling.com Team would also have strong showing of riders, as well.
The day got off to a fast start with Centric setting the pace. The early break had members from each team, but not really the right riders for it to really stick.
So, when the first break got absorbed the real players came out to play. This enabled Cylance-Incycle to launch four of their riders up the road and also brought a few riders with them. Eleven riders rolled up the road with Phil Tinstman (Monster Media) closing the gap, but lost Gideon Massi (Bike Religion) and then lost Phil Tinstman after he made a huge effort to get across to the break, which had around 40 plus seconds on the field and gaining.
Photos © Frank Sarate / SoCalCycling.com
Once they started to gain a comfortable margin on the pack, they started to attack in the break as Cylance took turns launching guys. This left Innokenty Zavyalov (SoCalCycling.com) and Hunter Grove (Cylance-Incycle) to get gapped off and have to chase for many laps. With Hunter having the bulk of his riders up the road and not needing to help, this left Innokenty to just put his head down and do what he does best and time trial back to the group which took several laps to close the 20 second gap. Most riders would have called it a day and just head back to the pack, but Innokenty hung in and bridged back. This should have left Hunter with fresh legs from the free ride, but this was not the case. Once they bridged back, the attacks kept coming and Hunter made a move with a few laps to go, but paid for it and then came detached from the break again never to get back on.
With the final laps closing, the field was splitting up in many different groups and the break was getting ready to lap the separated field and it was going to be messy sprint for the win. This left the door open for the crafty track rider Stephan Hall (PA Lightning), who with his teammate Michael Chauner, rode almost perfectly to to get 1st and 8th place respectfully. Hilton Clarke (Cylance-Incycle) finished in 2nd and Tyler Locke (Centric) rounded out the podium in 3rd.
Report by Frank Sarate / SoCalCycling.com