Philicia Marion, Robert Marion, Anina Aaron, and Chase Dickens

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Kenda/KMC/Hayes Professional Mountain Bike Team travelled once again to Florida for a different type of racing action. On Saturday, each team member competed solo in the Squiggy 6-hour Mountain Bike Classic at the Morris Bridge Park in Tampa, Florida. Racers had to complete as many laps as possible on the flat, sandy 10 mile course. The Team kept their podium streak alive on Saturday with a first, 2 seconds, and a third place finish. Robert took an early lead in the race and never looked back, being one of only 2 racers to complete 8 laps during the event. The team's youngest member, Chase also competed in the Pro/Open Men. Chase rode hard the entire event, and finished second place. The ladies of the team, in the Pro/Open Women, also had great rides. Anina and Philicia both completed 7 laps of the course, earning Anina second place, and Philicia third. On Sunday, the team travelled about an hour away to Lake Alfred, Florida for a criterium race. The freshly surfaced 2-mile loop circled around WaterRidge Community. In the morning, the Ladies began the action for the team, competing in the Cat 4 women's race. Although the Cat 4 women raced with the Pro/1/2/3 ladies, it was Anina and Philicia who controlled much of the race, with the two leading 3 of the laps. It came to an exciting sprint finish between 7 ladies, with Anina finished 4th and Philicia 5th. The results would show Anina and Philicia the only CAT 4 women able to hold on to the front group by the end of the race, with Anina placing 1st, and Philicia 2nd. At noon, Chase took off with the CAT 5 men. He stayed safely in the front of the field during the entire race, which had over 50 racers. The race ended in a pack sprint with Chase coming in 4th. The most exciting, and longest race of the day was the PRO/1/2 Men's race. Less than a third of the field finished on the lead lap on the hot, windy course. Robert rode a hard effort, missing the breakaway early in the race, and fighting throughout the race to bridge the gap. With only a few laps to go, Robert bridged the gap to the leaders, and sprinted his way to 6th place. The team would like to thank again ALL of our sponsors, without which none of our success would be possible. We would also like to say a special Thank You to Bill and Ellen of American Classic for giving the Team a place to stay for the weekend and our trailer for the week, and also Simon of Simon Says Cycling for his encouragement to the team this weekend. The Team will be back in North Carolina for a Southern Classic XC race this weekend, then look forward to the start of the 2009 PRO TOUR in Fontana, CA.

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