Stage 2 of the San Dimas Stage Race is one of the toughest road races in the country, making it notoriously difficult for a team to hold onto the yellow jersey. The Alto p/b SeaSucker team came into the race with four riders, including Emerson, Taylor Shelden, Dan Holloway, and Mac Cassin. Stage 2 would have been a tall ask for a full team of 8, so the guys certainly had their work cut out for them!
The team rose to the challenge and controlled a very aggressive peloton for the nearly three and a half hour race, ensuring a field sprint and another yellow jersey for Emerson. "I'm not going to lie, the butterflies were definitely flapping quite a bit at the start," said Oronte after crossing the finish line. "This race is historically very hectic and hard to defend on, but we were motivated and my teammates are strong, so it was just a matter of getting the job done."
"Our main goal was to be at the front on the technical section before hitting the main climb each lap," said Oronte when asked about his tactics for the day. "The first few laps were really hectic, but my teammates did an awesome job keeping me at the front. Sadly, with 7 laps to go, Mac and Dan were taken out by mechanicals so for the second half of the race Taylor was the only guy left to help. He was amazing today, he rode like 10 men. I couldn't tell you how many pulls the guy took where I thought 'well, he's done' and then he would come back. Seriously, it was impressive."
"I'm happy to have that one out of the way and the guys and I are going to do our best to bring this one home tomorrow!"
San Dimas concludes tomorrow with stage 3, the downtown criterium. It's sure to be fast but the team is up to the challenge!