San Dimas, CA – Seven members of the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team attended the 2016 San Dimas Stage Race this past weekend which included 3 stages. The opening stage, held in beautiful San Dimas California, was home to a 7km hill climb time trial. The riders were anxious to test the engines as most of the team members had been spending the previous winter months preparing for the season. With top of the line Rudy Project helmets, light Norco Tactics, along with Shimano wheels and drivetrain, the boys were off to a great start knowing they had the best possible equipment available to them. Jack Burke, one of the team’s newest members, set a blistering pace up the climb with a time that would see him land 6th in GC and atop the list of Canadian participants in the field.
A few members of the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team gearing up for the San Dimas Stage Race (photo credit: Bailey McKnight)
With over 160 starters on the line for Saturday’s road race, the riders anticipated a hot and lengthy battle in the Californian sun. Chaos took over from the start and the turns and climbs of the course unfortunately took down 3 members of the squad. Chris Prendergast received the worst injuries as he was taken to hospital after suffering a deep abrasion to his elbow that required stitching, but will be OK for the next races. By the end of race, the field was whittled down to a select few going into the final miles. As the race entered the last lap, Jure Rupnik was in great position to test his sprint. Jure launched his move with just over 300 metres to go and was able to land himself a 6th place on the stage.
With Jack’s 6th place GC on the line and the team now down to a select 3, the goal for Sunday’s crierium was to ride smart and stay out of trouble. The 85 minute criterium in downtown San Dimas saw the finish come to to a bunch kick with all 3 riders safely tucked in the pack.
The team started the 2016 season with a great showing; Jack Burke landing a 6th place in GC (4th in the U25 competition) and highest placed Canadian, and a 6th place stage result by Jure Rupnik.
The focus now shifts towards the historic Redlands Bicycle Classic. The team would like to thank all sponsors that have helped them reach new heights this season. The boys are in great hands and are well prepared going into an important block of racing in the coming weeks.
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