Guadalajara, Mexico — Glen Chadwick’s remarkable season for Team Type 1 continues this week in Mexico.
The New Zealand Olympian is the race leader through the first three stages of the Vuelta Mexico, an eight-stage, 749-mile (1,206 km) international stage race.
It is the latest accomplishment for the 31-year-old who was near death in February after doctors discovered he had the Epstein-Barr virus in his spine. The virus causes mononucleosis and Chadwick apparently had been showing effects of the disease since last December without knowing it.
“This more than makes up for everything that Chady and his family have had to go through this year,” Team Type 1 Sport Director Ed Beamon said.
Chadwick scored a second place finish on the opening stage of the race on Saturday. After being part of a five-man breakaway for about 93 miles, Chadwick could not reel in Juan Manuel Sandoval (Team Mexico), who soloed off late in the 98-mile (159 km) race to take the victory.
But Chadwick moved into the overall lead following Sunday’s 118-mile (190 km) race from San Luis Potos to Leon – a stage in which fellow Team Type 1 teammate Moises Aldape infiltrated a six-man breakaway that eventually gained more than six minutes’ lead. The Mexican’s group was caught before the race reached his hometown, but the chasing efforts to catch Aldape had devastated Sandoval’s team and Chadwick pulled on the race leader’s yellow jersey.
On Monday, Team Type 1 capably defended the lead on a rain-soaked, 149-mile (240 km) stage from Leon to Guadalajara.
“It was basically downhill into the city – 50 miles an hour (80 kmh) on really bad city roads,” Beamon said. “I don’t think I have ever seen so many frightening crashes in a week, never mind in 10 kilometers.”
Unfortunately, Team Type 1’s Chris Jones got caught up in one of them, but was not seriously hurt. It was the second crash of the race for the American who finished eighth at the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship last month.
“In Chris’s first crash on Sunday, Fabio (Calabria) was a stud bringing him back to the group with almost no caravan,” Beamon said. “It was serious pro riding and he and the rest of the guys all finished in the main bunch.”
Calabria, 21, is the only rider in the race with Type 1 diabetes.
Heading into Stage 4 on Tuesday, Chadwick leads Arquimedes Lam (Tecos) by two seconds. Diego Gallego (Burgos Monument) is third, six seconds behind.
Chadwick’s impressive season includes the overall title at the Tour of Arkansas, a third-place finish at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in August (in addition to winning the King of the Mountains (KOM) classification in that race) and the KOM title at the Tour de Beauce in June