Congratulations to Slickpixels.com rider Dan Thow for 3 consecutive podium finishes during the Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Phoenix, Arizona.
February 15-17, 2019
Dan stands in atop the podium after winning the Road Race.
Valley Of the Sun Stage Race
February 15-17, 2019
The Valley Of the Sun stage race is a nationally known race that takes place annually in Phoenix Arizona. The weekend started off with a time trial on Friday. This was Dan's first-ever time trial so he was a bit unsure how to pace himself. He was the fourth rider to take to the 14 mile course, with each rider ahead having started 30 seconds apart. Dan caught every rider ahead and put about a 30 second gap between himself and the next rider to finish. At this point Dan and a few of his fellow riders were confident he would be 1st overall. However, after all of the riders had completed the course and the official results had come in, we learned that two riders, who started after Dan were in fact faster. This put Dan in 3rd position overall and 48 seconds behind the race leader.
Dan went into the 46 mile Road Race on Saturday feeling confident and knowing he had to make a breakaway to make up the time. During the race there were 3 crashes, with a couple being fairly gnarly. Going into the downhill the peloton was approaching 30mph when a rider overlapped wheels and went down just in front of Dan. Dan saw that the rider had been instantly knocked unconscious and was sliding across the tarmac in front of him. Dan was able avoid the crash by going just left of the riders head, missing him by a mere 3 inches. Unfortunately some of the other riders were not able to dodge the downed rider's bike, causing a pile up. Going into the final lap there was a two man breakaway (one being the current 2nd overall rider) with a lead of about 40 seconds on the peloton. Dan and the current race leader decided they had to do something about the breakaway if they wanted any chance at winning. They gathered a few other riders and began chasing down the pack in front of them. Dan and the chase group caught the breakaway at the base of the final climb, where Dan made his move and laid down all his remaining power. Unable to hang on, the other riders fell back and Dan took the win with a 10 second lead! This gave him a 10 second time bonus for finishing first and moved him to 2nd overall. Now just 28 seconds behind the race leader Dan would have to make a big break in Sunday's criterium to have a shot at winning the 3 stage event.
As you may know, breakaways are even harder to make and hold in a criterium, because the race is short and the other riders chase down everything before it can really start. Not willing to just accept second place overall, Dan and the overall 3rd place rider, along with a couple others, made repeated attempts to break away from the pack. Every time the peloton would worked together to chase them down. The race leader and race field were too strong for Dan to make a clean break, but he tried and tried again in hopes of tiring them out. Coming into the final lap the field stepped on the gas as they quickly approached the finish. Dan came through the final turn in third, right were he wanted to be for the final sprint. Though he remained fatigued from his repeated previous attacks and his legs were unwilling to cooperate fully. Dan was able to maintain his position but not move up. Finishing the criterium in 3rd brought Dan a few seconds closer to first but it was not enough. Dan finished 2nd overall in his first stage race and was the only rider in his category to podium all three days.All of us at Slickpixels.com are extremely proud of his effort and results.
Finished; 2nd Overall
3rd in time trial
1st in road race
3rd in criterium
Carlos Soto Memorial Criterium
Carlos Soto Memorial Criterium:
January 27th, 2019
Ripping the corners of Cortona Drive in Goleta, California, the 2019 Carlos Soto Memorial Criterium took place on January 27th, 2019. This was Dan's first USA Cycling race and first Criterium race. Dan's category race started off more conservative than he expected. The whistle blew, Dan slammed his cleat into his pedal and layed down the watts. He planned to get out quickly to be able to start and maintain position in the top 5. Just a few seconds after the start, Dan looked back to find he was about 5 seconds ahead of the peloton. Not looking to start a solo break away Dan eased off the pedals to join the pack. It was a 30 minute race that stayed fairly consistent in speed at around 23 mph. No one in the race was very aggressive until the last few laps. Dan stayed towards the front where he knew he could respond to any moves should any take place.
Sure enough going into the last lap the group bunched up before the first turn as if they all wanted to go for it but were waiting for someone else to go first. Dan stayed a wheel ahead of the pack because he knew someone would do something. Just before the first turn a rider from the UCSB cycling team took off at 28mph in an effort to break away from the pack and go for the win. Dan was not about to let that happen and quickly reacted by pulling the peloton back up to the wheel of the UCSB rider. The UCSB cyclist continued to give it everything he had and stayed in front until about 300m remained. At this point the UCSB rider died off and another rider sprinted for the finish. Dan being in second position was in the perfect place to latch onto the wheel of the early sprinter. Dan held his wheel with about 150m to go and then pounced for 1st. Dan stayed ahead of the pack and finished with about a bike length on the rest of the field. Dan's first USA Cycling race was now his first win.
Dan powering up Gibralter Road
Hillclimb World Championship:
October 26, 2018
The 2018 Hillclimb World Championships were put on by former UCI World Tour pro Phil Gaimon. The race consisted of a neutral start from the Santa Barbara coast to the base of Gibraltar Road. When the gun went off at the start of the Strava segment riders climbed 6.1 miles and 2,592 feet (8% average gradient) to a mountain top finish at the peak of Gibraltar Road. Dan finished 20th in the Pro/Open field with a time of 41:05.
Overall, even though Dan wasn't feeling his best, he enjoyed the opportunity to race with a few of the world's top pros and is looking forward to giving it an even better shot in 2019.
Finished 20th in the Pro/open field
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