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Riders Diary Chris Jones: "I knew the time trial course was brutal."

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03.04.2008/ Chris Jones is a second-year professional for Team Type 1. His breakout season as a rookie included four victories, 14 podium finishes and ninth place at the U.S. national road race championships. He and his wife, Cassie, live in New Haven, Conn (USA). Cyclingheroes will publish a race diary with Chris Jones during Redlands, the US stage race starts today with a prologue.

© Marco Quezada
Chris Jones during the Team Type 1 training camp ( Marco Quezada)

The Redlands Classic in California is the first stop on the National Race Calendar (NRC), but it will be my second stage race of the season. At the Tour de Taiwan last month, my teammate, Shawn Milne, finished second and I was 29th overall.

 

Wednesday, we pre-rode the prologue time trial course a couple of times and also rode the Sunset Loop, which is part of the final stage on Sunday.

 

I did this race last year, so I knew the time trial course was brutal. It starts our flat, then gets steeper and steeper until the final kilometer. That’s where it’s totally out of the saddle and REALLY steep. This was also a chance to get our time trial bikes dialed in. I took mine to the new A2 Wind Tunnel near Charlotte, N.C., earlier this year, so mine was already dialed in. But for the rest of the guys, this was their first time on our new Orbea Ordu TT bikes that we call the “Stealth Bombers.”

 

The Sunset Loop that we rode is also brutal. Last year, I finished 13th on this stage and I wasn’t even allowed onto the finishing circuits because the field had just blown apart. The officials only allowed the first 12 riders on the circuits because the race was so spread out.

 

I think Sunday could really be a good day for Team Type 1. One of my teammates, Ben Brooks, got second on that stage last year. And last week, on a hard circuit in San Dimas, all six of our riders in the race were in the lead group of only 48. So if Ben has a few riders around him on Sunday late in the race, I think it’s definitely a stage we can win.

 

The other part of my day was spent at race registration with our team director, Ed Beamon. The organizers had set up a media interview area, so we did an interview and then headed back to our host housing to catch some dinner.

 

So what are my expectations for the race? I’d like to get in the top 20 but there are a lot of good riders here. If a couple of us on Team Type 1 can get within 30 seconds of the lead after the time trial and we ride aggressively after that, hopefully we can get on the top step of the podium for a stage.

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