Stage 1, Road Race
Today was a 75 mile road race in the cherry orchards of the Dalles and Durfur. The course was a 18 mile circuit with one climb and a bunch of rollers. Being solo my plan was not to do anything till at least the second or third lap. On the first lap a break got away with all three big teams represented. The gap was a minute fifteen at the end of the first lap growing to two minutes on the second lap. Once we passed the start finish line people started to attack, this was doing nothing for our chances of catching the break. Realizing that the constant accelerations and slowing were making me tired I worked my way to the front. The second I got up there two guys were getting reeled in so I accelerated off the front. After a minute or so I looked back and saw daylight. Seeing this I got excited and went balls out for five ish minutes. Gap attained, I started seeing riders ahead of me, I caught a rider and he grabbed my wheel. He was pretty tired so I let him sit on till he could work. We got out to about a minute ahead of the pack and a minute or so from the break. Working together we caught another rider from the break who had flatted, luckily had plenty left in the tank. We rode really hard and got to within twenty or thirty seconds of the leaders (4 or 5) and finished over a minute ahead of the group.
STAGE 2, AM Time Trial
Day 2 of the Cherry Blossom classic did not go as well as day 1. Driving to the TT my rental Prius was getting blown around, almost off the road. The start of the TT was up hill into a headwind, I was in the big ring looking for more gears but afraid to drop to the 39. I toughed it out until it flattened out, looking back I could have ridden the whole way out in the little ring as I never even approached 22mph. At the turnaround I ramped it up to 40 + mph and was under geared the whole time averaging 37 mph on the way back. All around this was probably my worst TT ever, I was always in the wrong gear.
STAGE 3, PM Criterium
8:45 crit start time in northern Oregon= disaster. The organizers had this idea of racing under the lights for spectators, however at this time of night in early April it its frigid and no one wants to be outside. To make it even more enjoyable we were delayed 25 minutes by a crash in the women’ s crit. The result was abandoned streets in down town The Dalles Oregon with a bunch of crazy ass bike racers going in circles, more like an illegal car race for pink slips. I tail gunned the whole race not even trying to move up and finished.
Stage 4, Road Race
This was the day that I was waiting for, a super hard road race with tons of wind, climbing and gravel. The race starts with 2 short laps that consist of some small climbs. In true fashion I make my move to the back, so that I can use as much energy as possible as the pack slows around all corners. As we pass through the feed zone the course opens up for the first of the big laps. Shit hits the fan right away and at least 30 guys get dropped on this first climb. I weave my way through and by the top I get to the front. We hit the gravel climb pretty hard but most guys were happy with the damage done on the first climb. We do this two more times and I’m hanging tough in a group of about 20. Then came the fatal mistake I eased up in the feed zone with 4 or 5 other guys, and a gap opened on the down hill. I probably should have closed it but looked for some one else to do it. Immediately after the descent is the climb so I try to close the gap, but at this point a couple of guys are going ape shit on the front, and that’s the race.
All in all another super fun Oregon race they do a really good job putting on races.