Left-Right: Quinn Keogh (4th), Ben Chaddock (2nd), Roman van Uden (1st), Mike Northey (3rd), Logan Owens (5th)
We'll we got it done. Being the last race on the team's road calender and one of the key races that Team Yellow has yet to conquer, the Portland Twilight criterium ended up a perfect capstone to a great season of road cycling. Although there remain two more races in the plan for a few of us with the Longview Criterium tomorrow (August 14th) and the Franz Bakery Criterium next weekend (August 21st), tonight was the last official race of the year. Jason Allen, who dished out a ridiculous final 5 laps tonight, will be leaving tomorrow to return to New Zealand. Its been crucial having someone of his experience and leadership on the team this year and I wish him all the best in his upcoming track competitions.
After Jason 'dropped' us off at 1 lap to go, it was all up to us and we were able to take a convincing win, with the top four spots going to the yellow of Rubicon-Orbea
. Fifth place mind you was a young, very talented rider from the well-known Seattle-based Hagens Berman Cycling Team
; Logan Owens, who is competing in the senior men's category at age 15, did a very impressive ride. Congrats to Logan! Can you say prodigy?
Mike, rocking his U23 Kiwi National Criterium Champion jersey, started the race from the front after OBRA's Luciano (on the loudspeaker) called him up along with other local cycling legends. Included in the call ups were Kona Mountain Bike star Ryan Trebon
and a two-time Olympian Bob Mionske
of the Guiness Cycling Team
. But there was a strong contingent of yellow in the second row and after the gun, it fortunately didn't take long to get situated at the front of the race.
With 15,000 spectators lining the streets of downtown Portland's Pearl District, it was all to play for right from the start. Multiple attacks launched off the front but we shut down anything that was unfavourable. We planned to let a 2-man break go if we had one rider or any break in which we held a number advantage. And by lap 10 (60 second laps over the course of the 1 hour race so about 50-60 laps), after various failed two-man breaks, Roman snuck away solo. He lasted for a while, I'm gonna say 10-15 minutes. Mike followed another rider up to Roman by minute 20 but Ryan Trebon worked hard to bring it all back together by half distance.
Quinn and I patrolled the front at this point, but it seemed that riders were content to let it cool down for a while. So I launched a solo attack which was quickly countered by two non-Rubicon riders which Aaron Tuckerman shut down shortly thereafter. With 15 minutes remaining, a $100 prime provided a little extra motivation and as I sliced my way up from 10th wheel to 3rd wheel following a brilliant delivery yet again by Jason at the final corner, I had the best seat in the house as Mike zipped by another competitor as the last second for the prize. Taking advantage of the strung out position of the field, I went to the front to keep the pace high as the guys prepared for the final run. A couple laps later I was pleasantly surprised as the Yellow train came by. I slotted in behind Jason, Roman and Quinn (who were rotating and slowly increasing the pace every lap) and in front of Mike and Aaron. With 6 laps to go, Steve Fisher of Hagens Berman
made a move off the front. He was unable to get away but did cause some reshuffling , leaving Jason at the front followed by myself, Roman, Mike, Quinn and Aaron . This meant that Jason would have to go as long as he could so the rest of us could stay as fresh as possible for the final laps. But he just kept going! As the lap board came down, 4 to go, 3 to go, 2 to go, the ambient light decreased considerably, the crowd got louder and the entry speeds into the 180 degree corner 1-2 complex increased to a rate which disabled the option or need to pedal along the 30 metre arc between apexs. It wasn't until the final corner of the penultimate lap that Jason pulled off. Amazing effort. Individual track pursuit here he comes! With his day done, I drove it along the front straight, through corners 1,2,3,4 and onto the back straight. Roman took over on the back straight but I was able to slot in behind him and in the push to the line two corners later, Mike came up along my right side as Roman, I, Mike and Quinn took the top four places in grand style, hands up.
It was a great ride for all of us and a very important win. We stomped our fist all over the race, animating with breaks while maintaining a high pace, finished off with a 10 lap Yellow train leadout for the finale. It was also a very important result as we had a lot of sponsors out this evening, with Keith Seed (Orbea Bicycles
& Rolf Wheels
), the Gillispie family from Muscle Memory fitness
of Tswassan, Canada and of course my parents who also made the trip south for the weekend. Roman was also able to jump on the loudspeaker after the race and send a big shout out to both Norrene and Dave (our team managers), whose dedication to road cycling and the Livestrong foundation remains unmatched. Without those key people behind the team, our results on the road would not be possible. Thanks again to all of you for an amazing season!
The Gillispies also brought down a shake weight
for the team, now we will all get super strong! Tomorrow is Longview Criterium, followed by the Heartbreaker Track Race (presented by the Gentle Lovers Cycling Team
) on Sunday in which I will be competing in the senior points race. Also, check out Team Rubicon on Facebook
- all the inside info can be yours!
It's the weekend! So get out and ride your bike if you can! Thanks for reading.
Roman off the front early
Aaron Tuckerman making it hard
Quinn Keogh on the job
Roman looking fast as usual
Labels: Road Report, Track Report