by Rider Jessica Cutler

San Dimas Stage Race (SDSR) is raced over three days and three stages. Even though it's not a Pro Road Tour race, many pro teams use it as a tuneup for Redlands Classic and other early season races. It's a great place to work out any kinks and to allow new teammates to learn to work together in a (slightly) lower pressure environment.

Stage one:
2nd Place - Kathryn Donovan
3rd Place - Jessica Cutler

Stage three:
1st Place - Lauretta Hanson

Overall GC:
2nd - Katie Donovan
3rd- Jessica Cutler

Stage 1: Glendora Mountain TT

Stage 1 is a 4.25 mile uphill time trial that climbs over 1,000 feet. Because of this fact it is typically raced on road bikes.  The team had a great start with Katie Donovan smoking the course in 17:21 finishing second by 14 seconds to Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong.  Jess Cutler also had a strong ride finishing third in 17:56.  The rest of the team members showed good early season form with Whitney Allison in eighth at 18:25, Emma Grant in 23rd at 19:27, Lauretta Hanson in 27th at 19:33, and Beth Hernandez fighting through illness to finish in 21:31. 

Stage 2: Hospital Road Race

Stage 2 is run on a punchy and technical 7+ mile circuit around Bonelli Park.  The riders do eight laps of the circuit which makes for nonstop action with three intermediate time bonus/points sprints and three intermediate QOM sprints.  The team was down to five riders against several teams of eight as Beth's illness hadn't improved overnight and it was more important for her to rest and recover.  The ladies rode a tight race keeping close tabs on the front of the race and even having a go at a few of the sprints.  Lauretta Hanson made it through a chaotic finish that saw several riders touching pavement to finish just off the podium in fourth.  The rest of the team finished comfortably in the pack leaving Katie and Jess still sitting second and third, respectively. 

Stage 3: Old Town Grand Prix

Stage 3 is a 55 minute slightly technical six-corner criterium run in the center of San Dimas.  The team went in with a few goals.  First and foremost they wanted to set up Lauretta for the win.  Second, as Katie was secure in her second place but likely couldn't overtake Kristin Armstrong, they wanted to secure Jess's third place overall.  With Scotti Lechuga of Hagens Berman sitting only 8 seconds behind Jess, the team needed to ensure that Scotti didn't get any intermediate time bonuses. The ladies rode the front all day covering moves and eating up bonus seconds with both Whitney and Emma going with mid-race breakaways.  In the finale, Whitney was able to get around an errant car on the course to do a monster leadout for Lauretta securing the stage win!  The team also met the goal of keeping Jess in third overall.

This was the first real race that the full team has done together and was a fantastic confidence booster for the ladies and staff going into the rest of the season!