<-- Roman Kilun (right) was second in the road race and 3rd overall GC.
Terry Curley, team manager for McGuire-Langdale Pro Cycling team, and a member of McGuire Cycling, shares with us their experience at the Sea Otter Classic last weekend:
"Sea Otter is always a great race to have a presence--and a result--as it is covered well by media and many of the bike industry attend to show off their new wares. I have been coming to Sea Otter since 96 and it has come a long way since the days of mountain biking and inline skate racing.
Our Team of 6 for the race consisted of Erik Saunders, Roman Kilun, Pat Dunaway, Colin Beardsley, Geoff Rapoport and Zach Walker.
Prologue ? April 14th
The prologue was due to start just after the women?s race around 3pm. Our big hitter for a top finish was Erik Saunders as Erik is good on the track. We followed most of the guys down the corkscrew in the team car for the 3 minutes it would take to finish the course. Everyone was turning in decent times at around 3:10 ? 3:20. Zach Walker hit the 3:00 even mark. Erik elected to stick with his road race machine equipped with a rear disk. Following him down the course at almost 50 mph he was noticeably faster than the others . Taking all the right lines through the corners it appeared he was definitely going under 3 minutes which would put him in the top 3. As we crossed the line, I could hear the announcer give his time at 2:55 putting him fourth at the moment. With a number of fast guys behind him, Erik ended up in the top 10 at 9th.
Circuit Race ? April 15th
The Race was due to start at 3:45 and was a difficult course with 300 ft of climbing each lap and 27 laps of racing. There was an early break of 15 riders that included our Zach Walker. With around 12 laps to go the break split in half and Zach was in the back half of the split. At the same moment Erik Saunders was making a huge effort to bridge to the break on his own ? he came within 30 seconds before having to back off. As the laps ticked away, it became apparent that the winner was going to come from the group of eight up the road. Our guys were going to have to settle for a top 20 finish. Zach and Roman ended up in the chase group that finished 2:46 down on the leaders. Finishing 17th and 20th. Zach would finish the stage 3:04 down on GC and Roman down 3:08.
Fort Ord Road Race ? April 16th
The road race was a change from the previous years course through Carmel valley. It took the riders through Fort Ord on the same course used for the district championships.
There would be 900 feet of climbing each lap with a total of 9 laps. The race started with a short loop around the Laguna Seca racecourse before heading down a 2 mile decent to the first climb. During the 4th lap a group of 15 riders rode away from the main field ? it was not clear who was in the group for at least one lap. We learned that Roman made the move and a sigh of release in the car. During the 6th Lap we heard through the race radio that Geoff was bridging to Roman?s group (it was over a 1 minute gap with one other rider to work with about half way) as he was bridging we were called up to the breakaway ? having the caravan of 5 cars helped Geoff and his bridging companion get to the break ? now with 2 in the break our numbers were better. We communicated to Geoff that it was his job to make sure Roman was safe and out of the wind. With about 2 big laps to go we could hear that Stevic (2nd on GC) was getting closer he bridged a 5 minute gap and one of his teammates dropped back to bring him to the break. As this was happening Ollerenshaw (healthnet) attacked bringing Larkin with him while Roman, Mark Collard (webcor ) and Chris Green bridged to the decisive move ? Sayers also made his way into the break ? Larkin fell off the pace after a few miles.
Here is the final climb just as Roman (right) punched it and put Sayers in difficulty ? keeping the pressure on Marc Collard (webcor), who also popped, and then there were three.
The break worked well together all the way through the final large lap. As the group made there way up the final climb to laguna seca Roman knew he had to lose one of the healthnet guys so he punched it and put Sayers in difficulty ? keeping the pressure on Marc Collard also popped and then there were 3. This was it this was the race the next group was over 2 minutes back ? at this point Roman had, at worst, 3rd on the day and 2nd or 3rd on GC. They entered Laguna Seca and Roman had to fight his way back to the 2. It gave me chills to see him enter Laguna seca with the winning break again. (last year he made the break of 15 that came in to win) As they crested the Backside of Laguna Seca for 1 of 2 finishing circuits Doug punched it and got a gap before the decent ? Roman had no help from Chris Greene as he was just hanging on. In the end Roman was 2nd on the day. This is a huge finish for Roman and a huge finish for McGuire/Langdale.
2nd on the day (Roman Kilun)
3rd Overall GC (Roman Kilun)
2nd Overall in team standings
This was truly a breakthrough ride for the team ? Geoff Rapaport had an outstanding ride to finish 10th on the day. Zach Walker rounded out the top 15 at 14th on the day. Giving our team the honor of 2nd in team standings.
Next Stops ? Tour of Shenandoah ? Athens Twilight ? Roswell Criterium"
We at McGuire Cycling wish them the best!