By Athlete Ambassador, Ron Amos
This is my sixth year coming to California to escape the late Winter snow and cold from back home. As I get older I find myself planning longer and longer visits to the sunshine and warmth of Southern California. California dreaming is what gets me through the many hours of riding the trainer in my winter training cave. That and knowing that the Sol Cal cycling gang will be in flying form and more than willing to kick my butt when I arrive.
My race team, Hammer/53×11, had highlighted the Chico Stage Race up in Northern California as the first major event for the team this year. We entered five of us into the 45+ category and managed four podiums over the four stages. Dan Shore won stage 1 on the Thunder Hill race track after a text book team lead-out and an amazing sprint. Cale Reeder finished 3rd after being a driving force in our lead-out train. In the road race, Janne Hamalainen and I dug deep to put ourselves into a five man 50km breakaway which gave us both a huge 2min plus leg up on most of our competitors. Sadly, we failed to climb on the podium that day due to some tactical errors…. Actually no, we just beat fair and square by stronger riders! Cale Reeder place 3rd in the final Time Trial stage and my Time Trial result moved me up to finish 3rd overall in the General Classification.
Racing this demanding stage race that consisted of four challenging races. (I don’t know if I can put more races in that sentence). The Hammer nutritional products really helped me get through the races as well as recover. Some of my favorite ones are: Hammer Nutrition Gels, Endurolytes and Recoverite.
So just like that the 2016 race season is off and rolling. I dug out of my training cave, literary as we had 50cm of snow two days before leaving Ottawa, landed in California and raced my bikes. What better way to get the bike race season going? Now it is all about putting in a huge training block which will involve the famous Swamis Saturday group ride along with romps up and down the coastal 101 highway and hilly inland excursions with the help of the Hammer Nutrition.