The Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team gets its domestic racing calendar underway this Friday with the first event on USA Cycling’s new American Road Calendar, the San Dimas Stage Race. Already winners of three races on the road this season, the three-day, three-stage race in San Dimas, California, will be Axeon Hagens Berman’s first competition as a team in its home country.
It will also be the first races for reigning U.S. Under 23 national road and time trial champion Geoffrey Curran. The 21-year-old Tustin, California, resident is beginning his fourth season with Axel Merckx’s world-renowned cycling development program.
“The most challenging part of San Dimas is remembering how to race,” Curran said. “It is not too long, both in number of days or in total hours, but you have to figure out how to work with your teammates again and execute throughout the race. It is a great race to get things moving into the season while having some shots at the stages and the overall.”
Joining Curran on the seven-man roster are Americans Edward Anderson, Christopher Blevins, Jonny Brown and Chad Young. Rui Oliveira of Portugal and Michael Rice of Australia – both of whom have already raced in their home countries this year – round out the line-up.
Rice said he is excited to get rolling.
“It is going to be a great opportunity to race together as a team outfit,” he said. “Following a long and successful pre-season, I am confident that as a team we can have a really positive impact on the race. Personally, I am hoping to make the most of the racing opportunity, following on from some local events and the Oceania Championships earlier this month. It will be great to test my form and look to get on the podium.”
Racing gets underway Friday with a twisting, 4.25-mile hill climb, followed by an 84-mile road race on a laps of a seven-mile circuit on Saturday. Sunday’s final stage is an 85-minute, six-corner criterium in Downtown San Dimas.