For Team RALLY the Tour of California continued after Eric flew home, and it continued in spectacular fashion.
First, Tuesday (Stage 3 to Morro Bay) looked considerably better due to Danny Pate’s leadership in getting himself into the break of riders ahead of the race. He lasted in that group until about 5 km to go when they were all caught, but his success energized the team and helped lead to Wednesday’s incredible rides by Evan Huffman and Rob Britton.
On Wednesday we were in the SUV listening to TourTracker while on Hwy. 101 back to Solvang, because we still had a room reservation. Evan Huffman and Rob Britton were both in the break of five, and they were still away with a big enough margin that it looked possible to pull off the greatest win in team history. As it came down to their last few miles we pulled off the highway and found a big screen TV at The Lazy Dog in Oxnard, the home of RALLY’s winter camp every January. This allowed us to catch the end of the race that put Evan Huffman and Rob Britton into first and second on the stage. It’s the only race to ever put a Continental team on top in a World Tour cycling race!
Evan and Rob finish one-two in Santa Clarita
I had my RALLY t-shirt on as I tried to explain to our waitress that our team had just won a big race, but most Americans don’t understand that cycling even counts as a sport, so it wasn’t working. I still left a nice tip.
Suddenly the week in California had changed. Suddenly RALLY had become THE team in US cycling, the team that somehow Rocky’d their way to victory against Apollo Creed.
Rob Britton second, Evan Huffman first, and Lennard Hofstede third on Stage 4
On the podium Evan Huffman was also awarded the blue jersey for Most Courageous rider