The Elevate KHS Pro Cycling Team traveled to Arizona at the end of their 7 day training camp in San Diego. On tap for the weekend was the Valley of The Stage Race. A staple on the teams race calendar, the 3 stage event is a great test for the team to hone time trial position, tactics and execution. Fielding a 9 man roster allowed the team to have multiple options going into each stage and eventually placed Innokenty Zavyalov on the top step.
Friday’s time trial was a great opening event for the team, landing 3 riders in the top 10. Innokenty Zavyalov finished 4th, Cory Lockwood 5th and Connor Brown a close 8th. Having these options in the road race set-up an ideal situation for the team.
Inno recounted the second day of racing: “The road race was rainy and windy. Perfect weather to cause havoc and confusion on our competition. We had 3 riders in top ten GC which gave our team a lot of options. Two laps to go the field started splitting and Connor Brown set me up for an ideal attack. I got a gap with no one on my wheel and fully committed with a hard effort. Once I was away it was a time trial to the finish on my HED 6s and our team working hard to control the field and give me the best chance of a GC lead. I did not know my gap until the last 10 minutes of the race so I turned myself inside out to make sure I get the Jersey. Coming across the line I was ecstatic to set the winning mood for the year.”
With this heroic effort, Inno rode himself into the overall leaders jersey with one stage remaining – the downtown criterium in Phoenix on Sunday.
The entire team began the race at the front and rode full gas for the entire 60 minutes of the final stage.
“We were in full control of the freshly repaved roads during the final stage criterium on Sunday. It was a wonderful opportunity to practice crit tactics and some good lessons were learned that day. I can’t wait to see what we can do with the rest of the year.” Explained overall winner Inno.
In the finale, Alfredo Rodriguez sprinted to a close 2nd place, rounding out the podiums for the weekend.
The team was happy to return home with the overall win and multiple podiums. But most importantly, they were able to hone their teamwork and tactics which will be the launchpad for many more victories in the 2017 season. Congratulations Inno and team!
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