Close Quarters Racing: Rosewood Winter Series II – P123 Recap

Writing: Jesse “Gonzo” Gonzalez

Photography: Christopher Larrea

Jesse “Gonzo” Gonzalez of the developmental SilCarbon/Elite Cycle Team will be a regular contributor on Morning Ride CC for the next few months of the racing season. Please give him a follow on his personal blog, where he will also share more of his racing experience.

With the second race of the year in the books, riders in the elite field now have a better perspective of what’s to come for the remaining year: A larger peloton, dominating teams, and “close quarters” racing.

The increased field size called for “gripping” & “on edge” racing. Brian Piccolo Criterium course is a short and technical one. Including a hairpin and with a field size of 52 riders, this 6 turn course had riders checking brakes and rubbing shoulders from turn to turn for nearly the entire race.

[Photo taken from Alfredo Diaz/Team Cornerstone ‘s on board camera]

With a bigger, stronger field, comes closer calls; 2 crashes occurred unfortunately involving Rush/Piquet’s Jose Gonzalez and another crash with Alfredo Diaz of Cornerstone in the final laps of the race.

    Team Stradalli Cycle came in full force this past Sunday with a total of 9 riders squeezed into the peloton. It goes without saying that Stradalli controlled a majority of the race and although many breaks were attempted, it wasn’t long before they were shut down by the displayed organization of the team.

The peloton averaged around 27 mph for a total of 70 minutes and 3 laps (~75 minutes), totaling 32 miles leading the remaining 29 riders into a bunch sprint. Florenz Knauer of Team Stradalli Cycle took the win this race with a textbook lead-out, followed by Alexander Zabrana of Vivo Cycling Attorney/Racers Edge and Luis Zayas of All4Cycling taking 2nd/3rd in the P12 category. In Category 3, Cesar Sosa of Team Stradalli Cycle, also takes 1st place followed by Ariel Lee of Cornerstone in 2nd place and Jose ‘Pepe’ Gonzalez who recovered from his crash and managed to secure 3rd place for Rush/Piquet. This puts Luis Zayas in 1st for the GC, followed by Luis Romero and Alex Zambrana. Ariel Lee leads GC contention for category 3 and not far behind are Jose Gonzalez and Cesar Sosa.

    Increasing peloton, increasing intensities this year at Rosewood’s races. The levels are being set and riders are being targeted as we head towards race 3 of the early year in South Florida. For specific racer results and GC ranking, visit Rosewood’s website linked below and a big thanks always to Fernando for organizing such great local series for us.

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