The Rubicon Orbea Team (Roman, Mike, Taylor and I) traveled out to Idaho this past weekend for a tumultuous epic through the dark, hot and drunken-fan lined arteries of downtown Boise. The event kicked off at quarter to nine with a adrenaline injecting countdown over the loudspeaker just as the desert sun's bright rays forfeit to a wall of bobbing heads and inquisitive eyes, effectively isolating the Lycra-clad warriors from the normally peaceful ambiance of the Idaho lifestyle. The peloton of riders shot away from the line in a pace similar to that of a grid of Formula 1 race cars and through the first right hand bend, the riders swung first from the far left of the main straightaway to only briefly graze the high walls of the right hand apex before extending out again to the left along the patio of Hotel 43
. Following the slight corner two bend, the pack surged down 10th Avenue along a bumpy, manhole covered surface towards for the final two corners like an hi-jacked steam engine. The ever changing pace of the peloton forced riders from a single file formation to that of a wall as their churning pedals spanned from one gutter to another, plowing through the dense inner city heat like that of a tsunami. Onlookers of all ages cheered and slammed their cow bells in anticipation of the approaching pack, only to momentarily lean back from their coveted sidewalk viewing points as the pack rushed by, depositing a blanket of unsettled cool air over their sunblock covered noses before disappearing around the final 4th corner bend and back onto the long 350 metre haul to the start-finish line.
Taylor claimed the opening preme sprint at which point a small breakaway became established off the front. Yellow was represented with Roman Van Uden as Mike marked the front and I readied for the next move. The race continued to heat up as the legs of the peloton warmed up and after fifteen minutes of racing various groups of riders had attempted to breakaway but to no avail. I suffered some rear brake problems and as I was making my way back up to the front a change in the pace of the peloton over the start-finish straight created a dangerous situation resulting in a crash. I was involved in that accident and went down quite hard. My Boise race was over.
Taylor, Mike and Roman carried on with Northey jumping in a bridge attempt to the 3 man breakaway at half distance. Although successful in the bridge attempt, ballooning the front group to eleven riders, the peloton was not pleased and brought the field back together with 30 minutes remaining in the 90 minute event. At this time another 4 man move went off and although no Rubicon riders were able to make that selection, the breakaways hopes were again dashed at 10 minutes (approximately 10 laps) remaining. By this time the streets were dark and the only light guiding the 100 rider peloton through the streets was that over the start-finish line with a secondary beacon at corner two. With nine laps remaining the Fly V Australia team lined up their full 9 man roster on the front of the field, Jamis-Sutter Home (in very similar colours) and Rubicon-Orbea following closely. With three to go Northey closely followed Van Uden, still riding in the top twelve as the lead out trains began to whither.
Each corner the pace increased and riders took greater risks, diving down the inside in a plea to set themselves in good position for the final push for the line and that coveted $2000 paycheck. In the finale, Roman was able to survive for 15th in the dark while Fly V took a 1-2 victory, with a Jamis rider completing the podium.
The night's event did not turn out as we had planned but with a
few days rest before Tuesday's 3km prologue stage of the the infamous Cascade Classic in Bend, Oregon, the team is confident that we will regain our June and early July momentum. Thanks to Christine and Patrick who helped me out after the crash. Also, great to hang out with fighter pilots Ben and Jim in the B-Tent as the race unfolded. Perhaps see you all next year.
Labels: Road Report