Tour of Murrieta



Tour of Murrieta: It Was Very Fun!

by Serge Tsvetkov (Full Circle)


The first day was a 4.5 mile time trial and the last mile was uphill on a dirt road. Before the start, it was rainy, windy, and cold. On the start list were pretty strong teams like Jelly Belly and Cashcall. I was happy with my time in the TT when I got maximum points for the 1st day of the omnium and my 1st victory of the season.


The second stage was more tactical for me. I decided to race like it was a new day and try not to  worry about my points in GC.  I was just looking for another stage win.  At the beginning of the race, 2 guys (1 from Cashcall and 1 from Jelly Belly) got up the road. I bridged because I felt it was a dangerous move that might stick and nobody would be able to chase them. After that, another 2 guys (1 from Jelly Belly and 1 from Cashcall) bridged.  We started to work together and soon our gap was 25 seconds.  That is a pretty safe time for a crit.  On the last 2 laps, Jelly Belly and Cashcall began to attack and chase each other. I tried to attack because I am not strong in a sprint.  Jelly Belly really worked hard in the last 400 meters and made it really hard to get an advantage. I finished 5th and lost my GC by 1 point to a strong sprinter from Jelly Belly. [Read more…]

What a Birthday Present for Dion Smith(Full Circle)

Hilltop Road Race

By Dion Smith (Full Circle Cycling)


The 4th and final stage of the Merco Cycling Classic was set to be a big day with 120 miles to be covered. The course, a 24-mile circuit that we had to complete 5 times, was rolling and the roads were rough, with a lot of uneven surfaces and potholes. The first 2 laps were crazy fast and aggressive, with most of the field trying to get in the break.  I think we covered 60km in the first  hour and 15 minutes. I tried having a few goes off the front, but nothing really stuck, which was OK because my legs didn’t feel too great, so I decided to sit in and stay out of trouble.


The main break of the day finally escaped at the beginning of the 3rd lap.  It included 6 or so guys, but lasted just under a lap before the peloton brought them back. Two more riders got away with just under 2 laps to go and established a sizeable gap. I knew they wouldn’t have a chance to last, as Bissell was in control and setting a steady tempo.


With a lap to go, things started to heat up.  Bissell lifted the pace and everyone started fighting for a good position near the front. By then, my legs had opened up and started to feel good. I positioned myself in the top 20 so there was less chance of getting into trouble and it was easier to save some energy for the finale. The peloton caught the 2 breakaway riders with half a lap remaining and there was no chance of anyone else getting away.  It was going to come down to a bunch kick.


I wouldn’t call myself a pure sprinter, but whenever I get the chance I will definitely give it a crack. I knew there were a lot of stronger and faster guys in the bunch, so I had to be smart and follow the right wheels. The final 2k was technical and also slightly uphill, so it suited me more than a dead-flat sprint. I managed to follow some good lines and the right wheels, and I also made sure I didn’t get “boxed in.”


With 400m to go, I found myself 2nd wheel, which couldn’t have worked out better.  It was a headwind sprint, so I made sure I didn’t go too early.  With just over 200m to go, I kicked and gave it everything, hoping for the best.  There were 2 other riders on either side of me and all 3 of us lunged for the line.  About 5 minutes after finishing the stage, I heard I had won by a tyre’s width.  That was good enough for me and I couldn’t have been happier, especially on my birthday!


I really enjoyed the Merco Cycling Classic, so thank you to all the people that made it happen. I would also like to thank Full Circle Cycling, our mechanic Brian, and Paige for the massages and preparing our race food and bottles.


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Big Win at Rosena Ranch by Dion Smith (FCC)

Rosena Ranch-35

Rosena Ranch

by Dion Smith(Full Circle Cycling)


On the ride over, I had some bad sensations in the legs, I think from 2 previous days of hard training, so I was more looking to just sit in and use the race as some good training. The start of the race was pretty rapid, which was no surprise, with attacks going from left, righ,t and center, but I lknew with such a fast course nothing would really get established for the first half of the race with everyone being so fresh.

At about the halfway mark, a group of around 15 of us slipped away from the bunch. I was the only guy from my team there and just about everyone else in the break had a teammate or 2, so I was a bit worried, but that did give me the excuse to sit in a bit more.  The gap didn’t increase tomuch more than 20 to 30 seconds for the first couple of laps, which meant some guys in the bunch attempted to get across the deceivingly small gap.  To my delight, I saw the figure of one of my teammates (Christian Varley) coming across, so I eased off the back a little to help him bridge that last little bit, which is always the hardest!  Having Christian there made for a better chance for us to get on the podium. [Read more…]