Photo credit: Mark Ernsting

H&R Block Pro Cycling Team wins the Circuit Race at the Sea Otter Cycling Classic

Monterey, CA – The H&R Block Pro Cycling Team wins the Circuit Race at the Sea Otter Cycling Classic and spent time with their amazing marketing partners at the international cycling festival this past week.

The H&R Block Pro Cycling Team attended the Sea Otter Cycling Classic at the famous Laguna Seca Race Track in Salinas, CA. USA. This annual event is host to a world famous cycling festival for both Mountain Bike and Road Cycling events and attracts tens of thousands of spectators from around North America who take part in the five day festival.

The team out on a morning ride together. (Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

The team out on a morning ride together.
(Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

The series started well with a second place finish by Danick Vandale in the Criterium. Unfortunately Jure Rupnik dropped his chain with 300m to go as he was pushed out onto the race tracks rumble strips as the rider the team was officially leading out. But, Danick quickly took over with a strong finish that showed he can sprint with some of the best by coming from behind for a second place podium finish.

The next race was the road race where the team was to ride hard from the start, initiating every break. This was a planned exercise in getting the riders used to upcoming events like the Philadelphia Cycling Classic, Canadian Road Championships and the Tour of Alberta. It resulted in some tired legs by the end with Chris Prendergast in 6th place who was in the winning break for most of the day. It was a valuable exercise in knowing how to push their limits and have their bodies adapt to the next level of racing. The team’s youngest rider, Joel Taylor (18) showed why he has a spot on this team with an exceptionally strong ride that day for the youngster who represented Canada at last year’s Junior Road Word Championships.

Saturday was a recovery day, but the team was up at 5:30am for a morning sunrise photo shoot with one of the teams sponsor, Norco Bicycles. It was a dark and cold morning, but all worth it as the team was able to capture a perfect morning sunrise along the famous beach front drive, Hwy 17. These images that will be sure to grace upcoming Norco catalogs and marketing material.

Margus shooting the team with a classic California backdrop. (Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Margus shooting the team with a classic California backdrop.
(Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Later that day the team visited all the sponsors who were in attendance. It was great to see; Shimano: Mr. Tatekawa, Ryan Ives & Ben Pye; from Pearl Izumi, David Blondel; all the Norco Bicycle staff: Chris Cook, Jonathan Duncan & Sarah Moore; along with one of our newest partner’s this year, Challenge Tires: Chris Clinton & Alex Brauns.

Team with Mr. Tatekawa at the Shimano North America booth. (Photo credit: David Blondel)

Team with Mr. Tatekawa at the Shimano North America booth.
(Photo credit: David Blondel)

Team at the Norco Bicycle booth. (Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Team at the Norco Bicycle booth.
(Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Team with Chris Clinton & Alex Brauns at the Challenge Tire booth. (Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Team with Chris Clinton & Alex Brauns at the Challenge Tire booth.
(Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Sunday was the last day of competition that saw the team wrap up the weekend with a fantastic team win led by Peter Desera. Peter covered an early move, with Bailey McKnight  crossing over to support Peter as they entered the final 5 laps of the famous Laguna Seca Race Track. The rest of the team knew that this was as good combination and were able to cover all the other moves from the field and keep it in control. Going into the final 500m, Bailey lead Peter out for a perfect win in front of all our sponsors. “This circuit race was a perfect course for my riding style both in technicality and length. Having an entire team all working together with one outcome in mind was really exciting to see come together, especially before we now make the trip East to the Joe Martin UCI Stage Race.” said Peter.

Peter and Bailey on the podium at the Sea Otter Cycling Classic. (Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Peter and Bailey on the podium at the Sea Otter Cycling Classic.
(Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Since this was the last race of the week and the team was to jump into the team cars for a two day drive to the next race stop in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was time to have some fun after a solid week of team bonding!

Peter and Bailey hamming it up after a great team win. (Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

Peter and Bailey hamming it up after a great team win.
(Photo credit: Mark Ernsting)

We would like to thank all our marketing partners for their support in helping the M1 Project be a conduit to the next generation of athletes that will represent Canada at the World stage.


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