Mexico City – Rock Racing celebrated one of its most prolific days in its history Sunday when David Vitoria earned the King of the Mountains jersey, capping a Vuelta Mexico Telmex that saw the third-year squad win the team classification while placing three riders in the top 10.
But the party didn’t stop there. In Dominguez Hills, Calif., 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 honors ahead of Williams at the Merco Classic Downtown Criterium Feb. 28 in Merced, Calif.
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 Jackson Rodriguez (Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli) 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.
From left: Tyler Hamilton, Rock Racing Team Owner Michael Ball and Jose Manuel “Chepe” Garcia show off the King of the Mountains jersey of the Vuelta Mexico Telmex won by David Vitoria (far right).
All photos copyright: Luis Barbosa