Stage 1: Thunderhill Raceway Circuit Race, 90 minutes
The Elevate KHS Pro Cycling Team took the trek north for the 3rd year in a row to race the Chico Stage Race. An action packed weekend with 4 stages in 3 days, the team knew it would be a test of will and tactics. Having come off the overall win at Valley of The Sun Stage race the prior weekend, the riders were chomping at the bit to rise to the occasion again.
Overall Stage Race Winner, Connor Brown: “Chico Stage Race was won on the first stage. I was able to make a breakaway of seven riders thanks to Alex whistling at me to get on as he came by with Inno on his wheel. After we got up the road we we hard pressed to put in time on all of our main GC rivals. We ended up coming away with 35 seconds on the rest of the field that day. This put us 4th place with Inno, 5th (with the best young rider jersey) for myself, and 7th for Alex.
The goal of stage two was was to defend the gap that we had received in stage 1 so that we could come into stage three TT in good position. We managed to put Alex up the road to snag some time and take the Yellow and white jerseys, thanks to an amazing team effort.
Coming into the stage three time trial, we knew that this was the best opportunity for us to take time on everyone. We ended up getting 2nd with Lockwood, 3rd for myself (this gave me the yellow and white jerseys , 4th for Inno, and 10th for Alex on the stage. This really demonstrated how strong our team was. Stage four, the criterium, was all about defense for us to retain the jerseys. Thanks to an amazing effort from the team, I was able to keep the overall lead. We ended up with first, fourth, fifth, and seventh in the GC.”
Perfect pavement and impeccably banked turns make racing on the Thunderhill Raceway is one of the most fun experiences the riders will have all year. Historically, this race has come down to a sprint finish, so the team decided to roll the dice by stacking the early breakaway with time trialists Connor Brown, Innokeny Zavyalov and Alex Hoehn. As the break gained traction, the chasing field seemed to lose momentum while the remaining Elevate KHS riders patrolled the field. With the 90 minute clock ticking down, it was evident that the break would finish with over 35 seconds on the field – a perfect set up for stage 2.
Innokenty Zavyalov finished 4th, Connor Brown 5th and Alex Hoehn right behind them. With this lead on the peloton, Connor finished the day winning the White Best Young Rider’s Jersey. Heading into stage 2, the team had 4 riders in the top 10, three of which had a 35 second advantage.
Stage 2: Paskenta Road Race, 90 Miles
The 90 mile Paskenta Road Race has become another favorite of the team, mostly because of the 5 mile dirt/gravel section they must traverse two times within the 45 mile laps. With 3 riders within striking distance of the overall leader’s jersey, the team was pleased to have options and the ability to control the trajectory of the race. Rally Cycling threw everything they had at the team and with roughly 15 miles remaining in the race, Alex Hoehn followed an attack by Rally Cycling and that was the move that stuck. The duo rolled to the line with a gap on the field where Alex finished 2nd, taking over both the Yellow Leader’s Jersey and the White Best Young Rider’s Jersey.
Stage 3: River Road Time Trial
Sunday is always a busy day at Chico with the time trial in the morning and criterium in the afternoon. The Time Trial is a flat and fast course where the riders could test their legs against the clock. As the finishing times were trickling in, we soon realized we would have another hand-off of the jerseys within the team. Cory Lockwood clocked the fastest time of the team, finishing an impressive 2nd place. Connor Brown finished 3rd, Innokenty Zavyalov 4th and Yellow Jersey wearer Alex Hoehn a close 10th. As the times were tallied, Connor Brown was placed in the hot seat for both the Yellow and White Leader’s Jerseys heading into the 4th and final stage, the Downtown Criterium.
Stage 4: Downtown Criterium, 60 minutes
The team encountered everything that makes a criterium great: rain, slick pavement, aggressive attacks and riders charging for mid-race primes. It was ‘all-hands-on-deck’ from the gun to ensure the team retained both jerseys. Connor had a 2 second buffer on 2nd place, and he wasn’t about to lose the jersey due to missing the bonus seconds on the finish line. The team turned themselves inside out to solidify the Yellow and White Jersey’s for this year’s installment of the Chico Stage Race.
Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team Partners:
Follow Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling On Our Social Media!