By Michael Smith Larsen, SoCalCycling.com Team
The SoCalCycling.com Team has been fortunate to have Michael Smith Larsen riding for the Team this season. Michael, who is from Denmark, has competed in more than 20 professional Six Day races in Europe. He is a former Danish Champion, has medaled at European Championships in the Madison and has ridden for multiple UCI Continental team in Denmark. We are excited that Michael is riding for the SoCalCycling.com Team and racing in SoCal with us this year!
Now I have been in California for more than 2 months and have already done a lot of good bike races.
The first race I did was the Imperial Valley Classic and it started good with a second place.
In the Callville Bay Classic, I almost felt at home in Denmark again in the very cold and rainy second stage. I think I had an advantage though and finished in 5th, which was okay.
A second place in Ontario I got on another rainy day. I don’t know why the little amount of rainy days always have to be on a race day? : )
The last month has been with races on the highest level. I did both the San Dimas Stage Race and Redlands Classic Stage Race. They were both hard races, but felt good in San Dimas. I had a little bad luck in the crit and was caught behind a crash close to the finish which ruined my chances for mixing it up in the sprint. I had hoped for top form the next week at Redlands, but suffered the first days with a upset stomach, which made the second stage of 120 miles in 90 degrees a living hell.I got through it, but it was not much more fun the next day at the Crit. The speed was incredibly fast and starting in the back made it a race of just surviving.
On the last stage (Sunset Road Race), I felt much better. The course was awesome, very hard and reminded me of hard European races. I finished in the second group, which was fine for me, since climbing that much isn’t my favorite. Denmark is flat you know. 😉
After these races, I needed a “vacation” and was invited for an event on Trinidad in the Caribbean. It had one night with a criterium and two days of track racing, on a grass track though. It was quite an experience, but fun!
I met some other Danish riders that were invited to the race. It was nice to meet local guys and speak Danish every day again. : )
Now we are on again. The hard training has started and we did the Old Pueblo Grand Prix in Tucson. I finished in fifth place in a well contested race, which I am satisfied with after not feeling on top the last weeks.
So far, I love staying here in California for the races and hope to stay the rest of the season. You will hear more from me when I have done races such as the Dana Point Grand Prix and other good races that you have over here.
Michael Smith Larsen