Franz Crit/ OBRA Crit Championships

The great Franz Bakery Crit was to be the site of the OBRA Championships this season. Once again, TAI PDX Cycling showed it’s firepower.

Updated report from Courtney:

Master’s Women:
Before the race started Courtney told Jan she was going to attack and win this race. About 10 ladies lined up spread across 3 Master’s Age Categories. The race started fast and we burned off a couple riders. The first prime was called and the pace stayed high until after the line, but slowed as it commonly does. As the group rounded the bottom corners, Courtney attacked and no one followed. As she came through the finish line another prime was called. She hung on for the prime and another prime was called. She hung on and another prime was called. She hung on and won a total of 4 primes in a row.  After the primes, the time gap was up to 17 seconds and with 4 more laps to go, there was no choice but to stay off the front and go for the win, which she did. It was a great solo effort and 8 laps off the front. Jan hung in the race and finished 2nd in the 50+ category.

Masters Men 40-49:
Duncan, Brant and Don were at the start. The group started fast and on the 3rd-4th lap, I pulled out after hitting one of the potholes at the bottom of the hill, thinking I wasn’t strong enough to stay with the bunch. It was too late when I discovered that the issue was the front brake caliper was almost fully clamped down. Enough whining: A Life Cycle rider along with Guinness’ Klipper (who was 3 laps down after a mechanical) had built a solid lead, but Brant chased relentlessly, and without much help from anyone else in the field and brought the duo into sight at the bell. One more huge effort from Brant and Duncan brought them 2nd and 4th respectively. Another podium!

Senior Women:
Shelley Dunlop, Women's 1/2 Championship, 3rd placeCat 1/2 and Cat 3 raced together for a separate category championship. Therapeutic Associates had Shelley as our lone 1/2 and Courtney, Jan, and Sarah as the Cat 3. The race started with a blistering first 5 minutes that whittled the lead group from 25 starters to 15! Shelley and Courtney were able to hang in.  Soon enough 2 riders were off the front and the chase ensued until there was a sizable gap. The remaining 13 or so riders kept it together with some fairly regular attacking but no addition breaks occurred and the chase eventually settled into riding for 3rd for the Cat 1/2 race. Although there were no Cat 3s up the road and only 5 survived the initial 5 minutes. It was a struggle to stay in a good spot in the pack and Shelley worked really hard to stay within the first 3 wheels the entire race. With 3 laps to go Courtney attacked and had a gap, trying for a repeat of the earlier race. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t there and she was reeled back in by a motivated Cat 3 chase. Shelley stayed in excellent position and rounding the bottom corners on the final lap moved up on everyone and decided to take it to the line. She held it for 3rd place by winning the field sprint, and Courtney finished 3rd in the Cat 3. Fantastic race on a really challenging course.

In the Masters 30-39 group, Kyle was just killing it, going Jen’s Voigt over and over. After a bit of rest, and inside the time cut for mechanicals, another hard attack and Kyle was forced into the coned off grate at the bottom of the hill, causing 2 flats and a crash. He’s a bit banged up, but put on a hell of a show!

Fantastic day!

And this is by no means a side note, Sarah took 2nd at the OBRA Time Trial on Sunday, and newly upgraded (for the 2nd time in his freshman season) Brad took a very solid 4th.

 

Kings Valley/ Sunday Graveling

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Saturday brought Kings Valley Road Race. A fantastic course: rolling, remote, good pavè. The weather was, predictably unpredictable. Sun, wind, rain, hail. Big fields, big prize money, plebeian beer, a private port-a crapper, and the chance to don the royal robes and crown were on the line.

In the elite field, all the top teams had their big guns out, and were looking to control the race. HPC, Team Oregon, Capa and Hutches were among the full fielded crews. Attacks went off hard and fast for the first couple laps, and were covered by TAI and others, then settled down a bit as it started to rain hard and hail. On the last lap, with 3K to go, a rider from Capa and Hutch’s went up the road and got some space. The uphill finish was tough, and Erik finished just out of the money in 12th.

While there isn’t a official race report from the Cat III’s yet, the results show that Casey and Matt had another excellent day, finishing 2nd and 5th respectively. Pretty sure neither of them will be 3’s much longer.

The women’s team continued their run of standing on the podium. Report from Stacy:

The combined 1/2/3 field was 30+ strong at the start and we stayed together through 3/4 of the first lap, despite some heavy rain and the lead car failing to take a right turn. Stephanie did a great job of controlling the pace of the race. Most of the climbs were moderately paced, and we were neutral for the first half of the finish hill while we waited for the lead car to rejoin us. The second half of the finish hill split the pack and we shed around 10 riders over the top who just couldn’t catch back on. We lost Courtney here, but Stephanie and Sarah pressed on.
The race got more serious in the 2nd lap, with some attacks that didn’t stick. A motorcycle gang passed us on the climb right after the staging area, distracting the race enough for a couple of chasing riders to catch back on to the peloton. A higher pace wore down non-climbers enough in the wind that we dropped a few more people in the finish hill. We lost Stephanie, but Sarah was climbing strong and stayed on.
Going into the 3rd lap we had 17 riders together, but between the climbs and some strong attacks we whittled that down to 14 when three riders got away in a break. Two of them had large teams in the peloton that weren’t going to chase them down, and I put in one attempt to bridge with two other riders that just didn’t make it. Sarah had fallen off a little before the break, so without a teammate in the pack I decided to save my energy for the finish instead of blowing up catching the break. The finish hill spread the pack out again over the course of a mile, leaving 9 of us to duke it out on tired and pretty cold legs. I ended up 6th in that sprint, placing me 9th in the combined field and 2nd in the Cat 3 race.
Overall it was a challenging race for the team, between the weather, wind, and terrain. For my first real Cat 3 road race I’m fairly happy with how I did.
Jan and Robin raced together in the Masters and 4/5 combined race. Jan was 1st in the masters race, Robin 8th in the 4/5 race. From what I hear, Jan did a great job of mentoring Robin in the pack and helping her learn where to be and what to do. That’s a great strategy for a new racer!

 

 On Sunday, Aaron, David, Don, Josh Liberles(HPC), and a couple friends headed out on a ride Aaron put together. We put in a brisk pace out to Scappoose then did the gravel climb up Otto Miller. Some climbing, a house on fire (not to mention legs), and some 28mph pacelining back to the Green Dragon where beers were shared ended a good day in the saddle.
More photos to come as they are available. Great weekend!!

Elisabeth Oosterhouse

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Teammate Elisabeth passed away suddenly Saturday of unknown causes. She was new to our team, but once here, you’re family. New to racing bikes, she was no stranger to competition, coming from a distance running background. In our short time with her, she showed she was fun, vibrant and full of life. We here at TAI are so sorry we didn’t get the chance to know her better. She will be missed, and our heartfelt thoughts go out to her family and friends.

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

-Irish Blessing

Donations can be made thru Fifth Third Bank (Grand Rapids, MI)

Jeff and the boys mix up the terrain

Last weekend Jeff, Kyle and Brian got out on the road and in the snow. Report from Jeff:

Great weekend of riding! Saturday Brian Malloy and I rode to Multnomah Falls before we hooked up with other TAI riders while riding Gordon Creek. 5200+ feet of climbing and my longest ride of the year. After the ride, hustled over to the OBRA board meeting. After taking care of business there, got over to Madison’s Grill for our Cyclo-Cross year end party. We had a great time celebrating an awesome year. We said hello to a few new riders and a sad so long to Kirk who will be riding with another team this year. Kirk has been with us since the start and will be missed! We are happy that he will be with more family and a team with lots of young kids. Looking forward to rubbing shoulders with Kirk this year.

Rallied early today to hit Sandy Ridge with Kyle. Great ride up there today. Snow kept us from riding the upper loop. It did not keep us from ripping down the hill 3 times today. Did get a flat and found out that sealant can form a large hard ball inside your wheel. Fixed the flat and kept ripping it up.

Great friends, fantastic scenery, and hard riding this weekend! -Jeff Standish Cross/ MTB Director

Team Party:

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Yesterday was probably one of the nicest days and reportedly hardest rides in February. Ever. We had 20 TAI teammates all kitted up and ready to roll for another bout with Bridge of the Gods. We cruised along at conversation pace to the bottom of “3 Mile Climb” where the women and 3-4 others cut off on their own variation of the ride. Then as the road went up, so did the pace. And it stayed like that all the way back to Vantucky. David and I are confident that TAI PDX Cycling is going to be unbeatable no matter what Category we’re racing.

Later that evening, Alex Yale hosted a gathering of us with great food and conversation so we could all get to know each other a bit better. It’s hard to have a conversation when the big guns are trying to tear your legs off. Kit’s and water bottles were handed out (great job on the kit design Alex and David!), pasta was eaten, and the beer flowed “like the salmon of Capistrano” (bonus points if you know what movie that quote is from).

Big shout out to our sponsors: Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy, Vancouver Toyota, United Finance, IQ Credit Union, Bike & Hike, Giant, Garmin, Dave’s Killer Bread, GENR8, Rudy Project, Ironclad and Velominati. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible!