Monday, July 23, 2012

Cascade Cycling Classic

20 July-

Well I made the flight up to Portland on Wednesday to meet up with a teammate and then head down here to Cascade on Thursday.  It was about a 3 hour drive and we had a homestay all lined up.  We arrived into town around 1pm and then grabbed some lunch prior to heading over to the homestay.  We are staying in a town house with a guy named Jim, who happens to have 2 black labs.  The house is beautiful and about 1 block from the river.  Racing kicks off on Friday with a Road Race, then a TT on Saturday morning followed by a Crit that evening.  Then Sunday there is a brutal circuit race that is 4 laps with 2 climbs on it, we pre rode the course today and it is going to be tough.

Stage 1- 70 mile Road Race

We got a heads up on the way to the race with a Facebook post stating that it was 40*F and raining up at the start of the race, which was at Mt. Bachelor ski resort.  Luckily I had packed some cold weather gear into my race bag and I ended up starting the race with a vest and arm warmers on.  Luckily for us the rain had stopped prior to us arriving but it was still windy and cold, but right before the race it started warming up.  The race started at 1140 and it was downhill for about the first 10 miles.  The pace wasn't too crazy but it was fast since we were going downhill.

I was told to just sit in for this race and just get use to racing with the CAT2's.  I listened for a majority of the race and then tried to bridge a few times and then went back to sitting in.  When we got to the climb I was positioned poorly and lost ground on the lead group but was slowly moving up along the climb.  It was about a 20 minute climb and I ended up losing 1'56" to the race leader, which wasn't bad but wasn't great.  Looking back on the Stage my position was a key factor to why I lost so much time as the legs felt pretty decent and I didn't climb all that bad.  For my first CAT2 race, I was pretty pleased with how the race went and definitely learned a few things.

Category: CAT2-
Results: 50th out of 110 (
Link to ride on Strava:
GC Placing: 50th out of 109, 1'56" down

Stage 2- 12.5 mile TT

I was looking forward to the TT as that is my strong point, but the day was just not going to be my day.  It started out with forgetting my Garmin 800 at the homestay and then having to go around to find one to borrow.  I ended up finding a 500 to borrow so luckily I was able to look at my power during the ride and try and stay within my zone.  Unfortunately yesterdays ride was taking a toll on my legs and my power was a little lower than expected.  However, the TT did move me up a few places in GC and I was happy with how it went considering all of the circumstances.

Category: CAT2-
Results: 38th out of 108 (
Link to ride on Strava: Awaiting File
GC Placing: 42nd out of 108, 3'27" down

Stage 3- 40min Downtown Crit

 Going into the Crit I knew it was going to be fast, but I had a feeling nothing would get a way.  After a few laps I found it really really hard to move up.  It was a 4 corner Crit all right hand turns.  Corner 3 was really sketchy and had some rubber stuff in the road, the stuff that fills the cracks, and it was super slippery.  After about 10mins I decided that I was just going to hand onto the back to avoid any craziness and just finish with the main group so that I wouldn't lose anytime.  With Kona being 11 short weeks away I wanted to make sure I wasn't caught up in anything.  Riding off the back was definitely more difficult but it was a lot safer in my opinion.  I ended up not losing anytime and finished with the main group, I was actually the last person to not lose time.

Category: CAT2-
Results: 93rd out of 107 (
Link to ride on Strava:

GC Placing: 42nd out of 105, 3'27" down

Stage 4- 68 Mile Circuit Race

After pre riding the course on Thursday I knew today was going to be tough.  To make matters worse I had to big days in the legs and it was really going to depend on how the legs felt on how I did.  I was told by my coach to sit in the first 2 laps and I made sure I did that to save up some energy.  On the start of lap 3 I threw some attacks and just couldn't make anything stick.  There was a break up the road that I was trying to bridge to and the best chance we had was with a group of 5 guys and the most we gained was 10 seconds on the main pack.  They just weren't letting anything go.  I tried several times to make it happen but it just didn't happen.  I went back to sitting in and figured half way through the final lap I would make some more attempts.

I ended up falling off the back after the feed zone towards the end of lap 3 and had to catch back on which took a lot of energy.  I ended up catching back on right before the steep climb and I just couldn't hang on to the group.   I ended up falling off the back with about 4 other guys and we just finished the race together.  It was a pretty big surprise to me, but looking back on it, it came to positioning once again.  I definitely learned a lot in this race and think it was a great experience to just watch the group ride away from me.  Not that I was arrogant going into this race, but I was riding a pretty big streak going into this race so I was pretty high on life, and this definitely showed me how the "big boys" ride and put things into perspective for me.

Category: CAT2-
Results: 87th out of 107 (
Link to ride on Strava:

Final GC Placing: 79th out of 92 (110 starters on Stage 1), 14'52" down
( )

Overall I was happy with how the whole weekend went.  It was an awesome opportunity to learn and get some great racing experience under my belt.  A special Thanks to Dwayne and Shelby Farr for picking me up from the airport and taking care of me while in the Portland area, as well as providing transportation for me.  Big congrats to Dwayne on an awesome race at Cascade.  Also a huge thanks to our homestay Jim, amazing hospitality and an awesome house!  Thanks again to everyone that supports me along this amazing journey, the past 11 weeks of racing have truly been amazing with so many highs and a few lows.

Sorry for the lack of photos but here are a few:

We woke up Friday morning to Jim making coffee and laying out fresh fruit, simply amazing!

Before the start of Stage 1, all bundled up from the cold weather.
 Prepping for the TT with my skinsuit as a parachute.  Good times in Bend!

 The freshly painted P3 already for the TT with some awesome HED6 wheels and a wheelbuilder cover!

 And that is the last that I saw of the race....................

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