3/12/2014 - NEWS!
5 Hour Energy Presented by Kenda takes 2nd
Jake Keough sprinted to a second place finish on the final stage of the Vuelta Mexico Sunday to deliver a podium in the first race in 2014 for the 5-hour ENERGY® presented by Kenda Racing Team. After losing two riders early in the six-day UCI 2.2 America Tour stage race, the Team rallied around their ace sprinter on the sixth and final stage held in downtown Mexico City.
''It was a fantastic sprint by Jake Keough finishing second on the stage,'' noted Director Sportif Frankie Andreu. ''We had a great time. Hopefully in 2015, they'll have 5-hour ENERGY back here to continue to try to win the race.''
The squad started off strong on stage 1, the 81-km stage from Mexico City to the Cuernavaca. This stage included a ''leg breaker climb” only 13 kilometers into the day, which split the peloton and the 5-hour ENERGY team into multiple groups. Andreu commented, “Chad Beyer had a fabulous ride along with Jon Hornbeck staying in the front. They were joined a little bit later by David Williams, Christian Parrett, Taylor Shelden, and a lot of the other guys. In the end, it was a very fast race, but the guys rode a superb race.''
Stage two, the 145-km loop starting and ending in Cuernavaca, delivered what Andreu called “the craziest stage” he's faced as a team director. Unfortunately, both Chad Beyer and Gavin Mannion were out of the race due to illness and the aftermath of a crash, respectively. Riders faced cobbled roads, steep descents and 180 speed bumps. Andreu explained, “One of the riders lost his handlebars on a speed bump, crashed, took down about six guys. Gavin was one of our guys that went down. We tried getting him back in the race, but it didn't happen, so he ended up having to quit. He's a little bit cut ,but he's all right.”
While the Team was tending to Mannion, Christian Parrett suffered a flat tire and had to chase back solo. “It was an heroic ride by Christian to be able to finish, he stayed in the race.” The rest of the squad stayed in the front group. Andreu continued, “Overall for 5-hour ENERGY,, we struggled today with the crashes but we managed to keep a bunch of guys in the first group, but it was nuts.”
The peloton was shattered on a sustained chase in crosswinds and a climb up a volcano on the third stage, the 201-km Queen Stage,. Bobby Sweeting and Jon Hornbeck did a great job to stay in the front group, while Taylor Shelden was forced to chase back from three different punctures. Keough finished seventh in a chaotic sprint on stage 4. On the penultimate stage, Bobby Sweeting finished eighth, only 14 seconds down from the winner in the short 2.5-km time trial.
The 5-hour ENERGY Team will head next to California to contest the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the traditional opener to the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) on April 3-6, 2014. To follow the Team and see the photo galleries from Vuelta Mexico, check out the Team Facebook page.
Team Sponsors 2014
5-hour ENERGY®, KENDA Tires, Devinci Cycles, Arundel, Banjo Brothers, Biknd, CatEye America, Chamois Butt’r, Cushe, Fi’zi:k, Full Speed Ahead (FSA), GoPro, Infinit nutrition, Jagwire, K-Edge, microSHIFT, Pedro’s tool, clean and lube, Rudy Project helmets, SeaSucker, Smith Optics, Suarez Clothing, Speedplay pedals, Swiftwick socks, Toyota, Vision Wheels, Vitalyte, and Vittoria shoes.