Huntington Beach, Calif.—May 4, 2015—
Ridebiker athletes Alex Grant, Tinker Juarez, Larissa Connors and Spencer Rathkamp turned in an incredible feat this past weekend, each taking the win at their respective races.
Ridebiker’s Kenda Cup West was the setting for Tinker, Larissa and Spencer at the Santa Ynez Valley Classic held in Los Olivos, Calif. First up was Spencer Rathkamp, who took the win in the Cat. 1 race. Rathkamp was just getting over a bad cold and felt the effects of it during the race. “I was coughing and couldn’t breathe so well, so I ended up getting dropped by the leaders on the last lap!” said Rathkamp. “I regrouped and charged hard to catch back on the last climb and attacked over the top into the last descent. I hit the bottom with a bit of a lead and sat up for a close victory.”
Larissa Connors had a bit less pressure, and easily took the win over a very small field. “I didn’t beat too many of the boys though, which was a goal,” said the full-time teacher. “It was really fun seeing all the different Ridebiker jerseys as I was passing racers who were doing the endurance race. I like chatting with other riders during a race, so that was a blast. I also got fit to my Cannondale FSi last week, and it felt so good I didn’t want to stop riding!” In fact, Connors didn’t know she had won and continued for an extra lap! Connors was coming off of an excellent showing at last weekend’s Whiskey 50, where she finished fifth in both the short track and endurance races and most importantly, according to her “I won my first big check!”
Tinker Juarez closed the action in Los Olivos with a win in the open men’s class, although not without a bit of drama, as he hurt his shoulder in a first-lap crash. “There was a hairpin turn and it was in a shadow,” said the two-sport Hall of Famer. “I thought there was a berm, but my front wheel washed out and I landed on my shoulder. I rode through pain, standing to rest but it was hard to torque standing up on the short burst climbs.” The ageless wonder was confident there was no major damage done. “When I was young I had a bad dislocation, so it’s always been a little bit out. I’m able to move my arms well so I don’t think it’s too bad. Luckily I have some time to rest and heal up before the next major races.”
New dad Alex Grant made his Intermountain Cup race at Soldier Hollow one to remember. “IT was my first race in my new Ridebiker kit and my first race as a dad!” said Alex. The Olympic Nordic Ski venue from 2002 Olympic Games in Midway, Utah set the stage for a new-style cross country race. At just under 90 minutes, the punchy, rolling terrain made for tight racing of a three-lap course. 35 lined up at the start in the pro field and Alex wasted no time in showing off his new colors.
“I was finally feeling good after a pretty severe cold passed through the household. I broke away halfway through the first lap and stayed away, just pacing myself to the finish. My Cannondale Scalpel ate it up – it was pretty bumpy so I had an advantage over the guys on the hardtails. “One side note. I passed [wife] Sammi and [baby daughter] Eleanor, off in the bushes. I guess Eleanor took a midrace feed! I was so stoked to be able to take her up on the podium, there was no way I was going to let that opportunity pass by.” Congratulations, Alex, Sammi and Eleanor!
Team Sho-Air/Cannondale riders Evelyn Dong, Keegan Swenson and Stephen Ettinger took the weekend off from racing. Ettinger traveled to Helena, Washington to ride trails with Ridebiker Sam Schultz, who one week earlier toed the line at the Beacon & Legs race near Spokane, his first mountain bike race in quite some time after a long recovery from back surgery. “I want to thank Scott Tedro, Cannondale, Ridebiker and everyone else who continued to support me during this hard time. Everyone has been so incredible that it motivates me to get out there and do my best all over again,” said the likeable former Olympian. Sam embodies the spirit and love of cycling that permeate through everything Ridebiker Alliance does. Sam, like the other Ridebikers has had a number of fans join Ridebiker Alliance to show their support. Membership is free and more partners are joining all the time at www.ridebiker.com.