Wednesday night the rain subsided (forecasted to be the rainiest day of the month) but the Mt. Tabor course was still extremely slick. I started on the third row, just behind the call ups, including Whittie ’06 Sam Johnson of HB who threw down for 8th in the prologue. In the third lap I went down near the top of the circuit as a rider in front had trouble and it was so slick that I tapped the brakes and immediately went horizontal. With only 1 free lap I sprinted (really!) back to the pits and slotted in at the back of the field although I crashed from the top twenty. Not so good. It took me 30 minutes to get up to the top 20 after that. Our team went for the KOM points and the guys all scored big points. Mike had a good chance at the end, riding in 3rd with 1 corner remaining but got chopped and finished outside the top five. I finished with the pack and definitely got the legs warm for Mt. Adams.
Thursday was 170km with 6200 ft of climbing spaced apart by four summits (two laps of two climbs, 40 and 25 minutes respectively). Not my strong suit but I managed to cover a move off the front leading into the second climb and get bottles for the boys on the second descent. With 2 km to go on the third climb I was sent into the ditch. I buried myself to catch back on after picking up a new wheel from Norenne. Moving through the caravan on a downhill is always an intense experience but I made it back and was able to grab bottles from Dave at the feed for the guys. At the beginning of the final climb I just blew apart. I rode in seventeen minutes down, but was stoked to here that Sammy J had knocked off the field sprint for 2nd! Nutso. Mad ups for Red Truck’s Nick Hamilton too, the sole breakaway survivor winning by inches at the line.
Friday’s 36km individual time trial was definitely the most entertaining time trial I have ever raced. It featured two climbs and gusty winds with twisty descents in the aero bars. Just like ski racing, I loved every minute of it. Of course if you are loving a tt course, you aren’t going hard enough but since I just rolled the course to save energy for Saturday’s race, I can safely say I thoroughly enjoyed myself..
Saturday’s 150km stage featuring 8000 feet of climbing had a fast and nervous rollout. The depleted peloton of 100 riders ripped down the main highway away from Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort towards to the first and most difficult climb of the day. It only took two attacks from the front before I blew up, but the team raced extremely well together and solidified Taylor’s 2nd place in the KOM competition (King of the Mountain). I was able to find a group of riders and complete the stage 4.5 hrs, 40 minutes down on the leaders – I enjoyed working on my climbing legs throughout the day, one of the climbs was 75 minutes!
Sunday’s 90minute criterium in Hood River was much more my forte. My legs felt great for how sore they were after Saturday and I was able help keep Mike protected at the front. The conditions were very treacherous, so wet and slippery that race organizers decided to change the direction of the course to make it safer and chop the time to sixty minutes. Unfortunately we missed the break but Mike was able to score the field sprint for 7th.
Overall, the team had a successful campaign at Hood. Our goal was the KOM jersey, of which we secured 2nd place and although a stage win was not in the cards, there are plenty more big races coming up soon.
Stage 1: Mt. Tabor Circuit
(Hiding on the right in the second row)
Labels: Road Report