Rock Racing gaining speed
By BikeRadar | Monday, March 9, 2009 6.08pm
Tyler Hamilton tosses the winner's bouquet as Rock Racing is honoured as the winning team at the Vuelta Mexico Telmex. Luis Barbosa
Rock Racing maintained its positive momentum from the recent Tour of California, winning the Vuelta Mexico Telmex team classification while helping David Vitoria earn the King of the Mountains jersey and a third-place podium spot. Three Rock Racing riders finished in the final Top 10 behind race winner Jackson Rodriguez (Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli).
Further north In Dominguez Hills, California, Rock Racing teammates Justin Williams and Rahsaan Bahati scored a 1-2 finish, respectively, at the Arctic Avenue Dominguez Hills Criterium. It marked the second consecutive weekend the pair have swept the two top places at a criterium, with Bahati taking the honours ahead of Williams at the Merco Classic Downtown Criterium Feb. 28 in Merced, California.
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With 11 victories in hand in a season that is barely two months old, Rock Racing Owner Michael Ball said even he couldn’t have imagined such success.
“This is truly a testament to the power of teamwork,” Ball said. “These guys faced a lot of adversity in the off-season, but when it came to race, they got down to business. I knew we were going to be a contender, but this is also a tribute to the work our directors, Rudy Pevenage and Laurenzo LaPage, have done.”
At the Vuelta Mexico, Vitoria earned the King of the Mountains jersey to go along with a third-place finish overall behind Rodriguez and runner-up Carlos Lopez (Canel’s Turbo). Rock Racing also put Glen Chadwick (fifth) and Enrique Gutierrez (10th) in the top 10 of the eight-day, 785-mile (1,264 km) race.
Rock Racing’s triumph over 19 other squads in the team classification marked its first team title in history. Francisco Mancebo won Stage 1 of the Tour of California into Santa Rosa, taking the overall race lead before eventual winner Levi Leipheimer.
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