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When you hear “Valley of the Sun” in February, it sounds like an excellent escape from the grey drizzle and crisp mornings of the inevitable early spring of Northern California. Did you say sun? Sign me up! It didn’t take much motivation for me to begin packing a bag full of short sleeve jerseys, sunblock, and skipping the knee warmers while planning a quick migration to Phoenix for some bike racing in the sun. The resulting tan lines and a few wins were merely a couple of the positives of this race. The Valley of the Sun stage race (VOS) has historically been used for early season tuning up of race equipment, and dialing in the fitness for a productive year. I sure hope this is the beginning of a great 2013.
VOS consists of three stages and it combines a true time trial, a challenging road race, and an entertaining criterium. Although the sun was expected to thaw the race legs out of their winter habitat, the desert winds proved to be the most challenging aspect of the race. As for the sun, well, it was welcomed in full force. [Read more…]