USAC Masters Nationals: Women’s Road Race

nationals-podium

This week, USA Cycling Masters National Championships are happening in Bend OR. Newly upgraded TAI hardwoman Stacy Westbrook took on the best in the country and took a podium spot. Congrats to Stacy being the only Oregonian to do so!! Awesome!

Race report:

Our race was originally scheduled for Thursday, Sept 5 but was delayed for a day by an epic thunderstorm that brought quarter-sized hail to Mt. Bachelor. On our drive down the mountain we came across areas with hail on the road 3 inches deep! I was deeply relieved not to race in that! Friday’s weather was much better, though still pretty brisk and windy. At least we’d stay dry and not suffer hypothermia on the 10 mile descent.
Due to the reschedule our already small field of 13 was whittled down to 10 because some women had to leave town earlier on Friday. Still, it was a pretty tough group!  Several of the women had raced Cascade Cycling Classic earlier in the season, and were winning races in their Cat 1/2 fields. I’m just a newly upgraded Cat 2 happy to finish in the top 10, and I’m a USAC Cat 3. I was also the only Oregon racer in a field full of women from California.
The descent was uneventful, and I mostly relaxed in the pack for the first 20 miles. I made the selection over the Three Trappers climb (which we didn’t even take that fast) and found myself in the podium group. Some seriously strong ladies there! We rode in a fairly organized paceline and had a huge gap on the the rest of the field, which I believe got completely spread out from that point. Our sunny ride on NF-40 turned into a windy, cloudy cold ride on Cascade Lakes Byway. We spent the next 15 miles rotating through the paceline in relative silence, just focusing on getting through the race.
At mile 43 I had just rotated off when the eventual winner attacked, just as the real climbing started past the Elk Lake Resort. Ouch. I tried to catch back on but my legs said no and my HR was frantic. I put in a chase for a couple of miles then got passed by our follow cars. The cold weather was really hard on my climbing legs and they felt a little leaden. I think the previous 40+ miles also had something to do with how tired they felt.
I just plugged away at the climbs, trying to make up time when it was flat or a slight descent. I could see the #4 woman ahead of me at times and I worked hard to catch up to her as much as I could. It helped that I pre-rode the climb a few days before the race, so even in my suffering I knew I was nearly done and how hard I needed to go on each climb.
Looking at last year’s race, the leader finished in 2:48:29 and I finished in 2:37:51. 11 minutes faster in windier and colder conditions! And I was the #1 USAC Cat 3! The women I was with all win races as Cat 1s and 2s. Overall it was an amazing, challenging, fun experience! -Stacy Westbrook
bachelor-hail bachelor-sunny

 

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.

 

Oregon Enduro Series

I’m not usually “afraid” before I do a race. That changed a bit this weekend. I’ve wanted to try an Oregon Enduro race for a while and I decided this would be the weekend.

An enduro is basically a race against the clock on down hill sections of trails. Hood River, the home of this weekends racing has some steep and technical section of downhill.

Friday practice was a real eye opener! Stage one was great, had a tangle with a section of wet roots, at this point I knew I was in a bit over my head. Stage two included “the rock garden” as I rolled into this section there were women scattered all along the hill doing a clinic. It was actually nice, since the instructor of the clinic started shouting at me to follow a certain line and that helped to only stop twice. After all that, there was a big drop onto a muddy slick landing hill. Phew, I made it through that, what else is left? Stage 3 was killer buff groomed riding. Berms and jumps for 10 minutes straight! Stage 4 had more wet slick roots and of course that meant more time in the ground for me.

Now we have what will be stage 7 on Sunday for the finish. That was like riding on grease, and there were two big g out hills that you just hung on for dear life not daring to touch the breaks on.

Some how I made it down. Now I decide I should go back up and check out the rest. Stage 5 was an upper rocky burner section and also included doing stage two all over again. So through the rock garden one more time, this time only putting a foot down once.

Stage 6 had a very steep section that ended with a drop that just did not sit we’ll with me. So I just ran that little bit, then it was re-doing stage 4 as an end to 6. This time I avoided the stage 7 mess.

This was just practice! Didn’t sleep well, scared of falling, worried about holding people up with my old man speed. Well, stages 1-4 on Saturday went ok. No crashes in stages 1, over the bars, in the lower part of the rock garden when I hit the wet root section. Damn roots! Stage 3 sent me over the bars again, not really being very good on the high speed bermed turns. Oomph! Stage 4 just saw me off course a bit, but not on the ground. Actually had more fun than I would have thought.

Sundays stage 5 and 6 pretty much had me running the really hard sections, as it had rained the night before and I needed to be at work on Tuesday. Stage 7 was so slick it was not even slightly fun. I just wanted to be done.

Over all, I’m sure I was close to DFL, but I don’t really care. My bike and I came away functioning and only slightly more worse for wear. The timing system for this series is still not really working to well, so results may never be published.

I learned that the right tool for the job is important in this type of racing. My bike would have done a ton better had I installed the correct tires. I was only about 1 of 10 guys of 350 on a cross country rig. Also, enduro is really a young mans gig at a place like Post Canyon. I may try again sometime if I were to have a different bike.

So back to cross country mountain bike races for me! -Jeff Standish

Sisters Stampede 2013

Sarah Tisdale (MTB Cat 2) at Sisters Stampede

Sarah Tisdale (MTB Cat 2) at Sisters Stampede

On Sunday, some of TAI PDX headed to Sisters for some MTB racing. Full race report from Jan, who raced the Bend Don’t Brake road race the day before:

Sarah and I went to play in the dirt for the first time this year. I played the injury card on this race. While my wrist has healed up pretty darn good, the remaining issue I have is some significant nerve pain in my palm. I was very concerned if I’d be able to ride a mtn bike for 28 miles, so I put myself into the cat 3 Women 40+. Now even on a good day, I’m not a mtn biker.  All those rocks and sticks and things?…. I am a great big scaredy Jan when it comes to mtn biking, but I do like it even though it scares the crap out of me. However, the Sister’s course is very roadie friendly with a 5mile dirt road start. So, my plan was to go as hard as I could when I could go hard because I know as soon as we hit the technical stuff, I slow down like a slug. I then spend my time waiting for someone to catch me, pull off and let them pass and continue on. I call this race a success…… I finished, my hand did okay, I got 6th out of about 13 riders… Then I had a beer. -Jan Moss

Brant finished 1st in Men’s Cat 1!

Bend Don’t Brake 2013

The rain returned to PDX but fortunately  it was warm and dry in Bend (for the most part). Reports from Bend Don’t Brake:

Men’s Pro/I/II: 

Bend Don't Brake 2013 – Photo courtesy of Catherine Lee Cooper Phorography

Bend Don’t Brake 2013 – Photo courtesy of Catherine Lee Cooper Phorography

The Pro 1/2 race was fast from the gun, 26 mph avg with Brant in the early move for the first 3 laps. After the break was caught there was a lull from the chasing for a couple miles and then one by one, random riders went off the front looking as though the group would reel them in but unfortunately those riders represented most of the big teams and we were suddenly left out to chase and hope others would join but that did not happen and we had to settle for a field sprint for 8th place and on.  Alex ended up highest placed at 9th.  I know that Brant worked his ass off in that break and unfortunately the other teams like HPC and Evolution didn’t have faith in there riders in that early move because they helped chase it down. They were probably afraid that Brant was going to break their legs in the finish. -David

Men’s Cat III: 

Just Matt and I lined up against fully represented Bend teams, 4 of which combined for 18 riders in the field. I was a little apprehensive about the distance given it was my second race of the season.

Matt and a couple others took flyers early on, but were caught. On the middle of the second lap, 4 guys took a flyer, 1 from each of the big teams. They got up to 1:30 gap on us as their teammates blocked the front hard. I tried a couple big pulls, and Matt was super persistent on the front, but it was well covered every time, no one from any remaining teams, save Wade from Half Fast Velo, was willing to put in any work.
With probably around 5 miles to go, the TAI Bend rider popped, but they didn’t get organized to counter. 3 up the road coming fast into the final K (where I wished I’d payed attention to the official, as I thought we didn’t have the full road till 200M) I was boxed in, Matt went left for 12th. I weaved through traffic for 18th. All in all, a good day.
 -Don
Women’s Masters: 
I played the age card and chose to race the Masters Women instead of the getting run over by the senior women.  They combined the Master women with the Cat 4 women. There were 26 of us total (6 master women). The promoter broke the Master Women into 40+, 50+ and 60+. With a short, three lap course, and no real competition in my own Master group,  my goal going into the race was to beat all the old women. I don’t know many of the Cat 4 women, but I do know Beth Ann Orton. I also know she is strong, so I started on her wheel and planned to stay there for most of the race. Well, she jumped at about mile 1.25 and got away. I thought this was too early. We caught her. She jumped again about mile 5 and I still thought it was too early. However, someone else who appeared to be reasonably strong went too and I decided I would jump with them. We got about 50m gap and I said “we should go”. Beth Ann put her head down and we were off. We readily dropped the other rider and it was the two of us with 2.25laps remaining. Hmmmm, maybe a tad early to do this? I know Beth Ann could sustain it, but worried about me. But hey, I played my cards, might as well let ‘em ride…. We put a huge gap on the field, we never got a time split, but I could not see anyone behind us. With one lap remaining, Beth Ann says “we have two chasers”…..she up’s the pace (which was already quite snot inducing for me) and I say I can’t sustain that, and if she has to go, go……. She does. We round the corner and I look back and see two riders. Okay, you know how when you are gassed, you fail to see everything or add all the pieces? I saw the two riders, but failed to see the lead/follow car with them…. I start to sit up to get caught by these two so that maybe we can get Beth Ann only to finally realize……they are two MEN off the front of the men’s field!! Duh! Beth Ann is now out of reach and I have to TT like I was Sarah Tisdale for the remaining of the finish lap. (Because I may not get Beth Ann, but damn, no one is going to catch me!) I end up second overall and I beat all the other old women. I won a PBR.  – Jan Moss
While I don’t have reports from the Senior Women yet, the rather confusing results show Stephanie Croy in 4th in I/II, Courtney, Stacy and Sarah in 4th, 8th and 9th in the III’s. Other than Robin, all of the Women were there! Great job!

Banana Belt #3

It was perfect wether for wrapping up the Banana Belt series at Henry Hagg Lake. Reports from the various Cats:

Mens Pro/I/II:
Catherine L Cooper: 2013 Banana Belt 3 &emdash; We had nothing to lose in regards to the series so we had a open game plan to look for opportunities. I was thinking that we might start off a little slower but no such luck, the attacks came fast and furious within the first two miles.  We had a decent crew of 6.  In the first couple laps Alex & Erik were in the first credible moves with a good combination of other teams represented.  Unfortunately there were several smaller teams with some power to pull each back.  On lap 3 Erik made another credible move but it got pulled back and a counter surge occurred that looked to have one of our guys but it was Capo and a couple HPC and a couple other unknowns, no TAI, we were forced to chase hard for over a lap to catch them.  I was extremely impressed with some of Casey’s pulls at the front, along with Brant, Erik & Mike who also did a incredible amount of work.

On lap 4 there was a bit of a lull in the attacking and chasing so HPC Steven Bedford rolled off the front solo and then almost casually Alex, Capo, Sizzle Pie rolled off to Join Bedford shortly after.  It was the perfect combination of strong teams in the break represented, Unfortunately the Sizzle Pie guy sizzled out early and retired from the break and HPC Bedford was apparently not feeling well, so didn’t have much to contribute to the break. So all the work was left up to Alex and the Capo rider to stay away.  On lap 5 they got a pretty good gap and appeared to be long gone with TAI HPC CAPO controlling the front but lap 6 the fireworks started with riders like Pro MTB Carl Dekker, Tim Rienhart, Gentle Lovers and few others that missed out.  The field exploded the 6th time up the Dam climb from a attack from Dekker, Pow! Only 10 riders could hang on and the rest were left to chase including Brant, Mike, Casey and myself.  With some hard work and long pulls from Casey only a handful made it back to the front group a 1/2 lap later.

That hard attacking finally was whittling down Alex’s lead so what was left of our peloton rejoined Alex the 7th and final time up the Dam climb. I felt really bad for Alex the break didn’t stick. So the remaining 20 or so riders were left to duke it out for the sprint. Well I’m pretty sure Beardsley got the sprint as he just followed wheels all day and was freshest. Brant was 6th after a lot of work and Erik 10th. Casey, Alex and myself meant 5 TAI in the top 20 at the end of a grueling day.

We played our cards, worked very well together and left it all on the road  as a “team” and that to me is Success!! -David Root Elite Team Director

Cat III Women:
Catherine L Cooper: 2013 Banana Belt 3 &emdash; Strategy: Heading into BB#3, I am tied for 3rd in the series with several riders not too far behind. My goal is to beat the woman I am tied with and to limit my losses to anyone behind me to win 3rd place for the series.Each week, the pack has split the first time up dam hill (and I have not been in the front group). I decide to attack early, solo across the dam, and ride the dam hill at my own pace. If I’m lucky, some of my competition will get dropped on the dam hill!As we start out, I’m nervous and second-guessing my plan. If they chase me down I’ll have wasted energy. If I go hard now will I be toast later?  Maybe I can hang onto the front pack without attacking?

In the end, I go for it! Attacking hard over Lee Hill, I get into an aero tuck down the hill. I got a good jump and am away cleanly! I steal a glance behind me and no one seems to be chasing. I hammer up the dam hill medium-hard.  They catch me over the top and get in the pack easily.  Sweet! And the woman I was tied with didn’t make it up the hill – though several others did.

UEF has by far the most riders and they’re attacking. I’m helping chase on flats/downhills and chilling in the pack on the climbs. Late in the lap on an uphill, the pack splits and I’m in the second group. The split is along familiar lines as previous weeks, and the women I’m most concerned about are with me. Based on previous the two BB races, I’m doubtful we’ll re-catch the front group. Still, we keep the pace high in hopes of catching stragglers from the front group. We have three UEF riders in our group and eventually they start attacking – though they don’t seem to get far.

One UEF rider who is close behind me on points has been having shifting issues all race.  The last time up the dam hill, she drops her chain again and falls off the back for good.  I wanted to beat her, but preferably not that way.

Finish: On previous laps I noticed there’s a headwind into the finish. An early attack (usually my best bet) probably won’t work. I get a bit lucky as we line up and get the wheel I want – sweet! Someone up front jumps and I’m hanging on, but when the hill starts and I lose contact – drat! I finish toward the back in our group, but luckily not too far behind the women who could beat me on points.

Analysis: Tallying the results, I held onto 3rd place for the Cat3 Women Banana Belts series! -Sarah Tisdale

Cat IV Men: 
After 3 fairly uneventful laps (other than my wasting energy at/near the front keeping an eye on the young bucks taking flyers), I started to wear out a bit. I slid off ever so slightly on one of the climbs after the dam, got back on. Deep in the tunnel, I heard the fateful sound and see 2 small explosions of people going airborne. The beauty of going so slow is that I missed the carnage. Quick scan and no John down, no one obviously bleeding or unconscious, and time to start trying to catch back on(the crash was behind the leaders).

John comes flying up w 2 guys, I catch on. Last climb before the final climb I slide off again slightly, and another guy who was having the same “almost there” troubles comes flying up as we hit the false flat. I grab his wheel by sheer luck and somehow it turns into a lead out at 200k. Turn myself inside out sprinting to the finish, picking off a couple more guys but don’t catch John who got 6th and I got 8th. Needed about 10minutes to stop wanting to puke.

Nice race John! – Aaron Even

Masters Men I/II/III:
After a long winter mostly off the bike, I got to work a few weeks back and decided to see how my fitness was coming along. I was the lone TAI rider in the bunch, with HPC, Ironclad fielding full crews and Bike Attorney, Hutches and a couple others having at least 3 guys.

The first lap was pretty pedestrian, with a lone ranger taking a flyer off the front. Nobody seemed to mind. Second lap was for points, so the pace went up pretty quick, and we brought the guy back. Somewhere in the middle of the race, while most were grabbing snacks and refueling, Dave Campbell (Hutches), Tom Ghilarducci (Bike Attorney) and a unattached, snuck off the front and put some pretty serious time into the dwindling bunch. We were running out of K’s and it was next to impossible to get HPC, Ironclad, or most anyone to work. Myself and a couple others would go to the front, take huge, fast pulls, and no one would come through, though the efforts were bringing the break back bits at a time.

We had them in sight at the dam. Going up it the 5th time, I got just off the back, dug deep, caught the group, and carried through to the front again, stringing everyone out, and finally catching the break at the 3K marker. Legs shot, I knew for certain there was no way I was going to out-sprint everyone that had been hiding out all day. We slowed to a crawl, everyone watching each other, so at the “Red Kite”, I took a flyer hoping for the best. 100M to go, legs completely shot, I get swallowed up, and shot out the back. So while I only placed 20th, I’m pleased with the day, considering I went into it with the plan of being happy if I stayed with the bunch for 3-4 of the 5 laps. It’ll come. -Don Joling Development Team Director

Cascade Locks Short Track/ Krugers Kermesse

Short track and ‘cross without barriers. Report from Jeff:

Short track Thursday night in Cascade locks. I was only racer there from the team. 2nd place. The course was nice, some double track, some tight single track, even a little sand. Great thing about the venue, lots of options to change the course from week to week. (Jeff placed 2nd in Cat 1 Men)

Krugers today, I think Dan Saunders raced, but until results, not sure. Brian was second place today, he was battling for the win all the way to the last turn.

Todd did not feel good all week, but rode out to Krugers. As usual, he flew by and I spent the rest of the race chasing his wheel. He was 4th wheel most of the race, I dropped my chain twice in the last four laps so not sure how Todd finished. I was 8th even with stopping twice. Really worked hard at getting a good start off the line and it worked. Did end up in no mans land for over half the race and that really tired me out.  (Todd was 4th, Jeff 8th in Masters A) – Jeff Standish MTB/ Cross Director

BB #1, Monday/ Tuesday PIR

Photo by Hot Foot Photo

It feels like summer, even though it just the first week of May. Both PIR Series and the romp around Hagg Lake are in full swing.

At Banana Belt, we chased hard, covered attacks and ended up with 2 top 10’s and just missed the podium with a 4th.

Men’s 1/2: we had a full compliment of guys out, with the intent of getting Erik in the running for the series. Along with the nice weather, came wind. Only 750′ of climbing per lap, still ends up being close to 4K.

Breaks were chased, and the pace was pushed. Near the end, as they were overtaking a neutralized, slower field, there was confusion with the lead car, and a group without us was away at the end. Kevin, after protecting all day brought home the top spot.

Rich also was 10th in the Open 3’s field.

Brad Meier showed that he is learning fast, and even though he expressed some disappointment with his result, he still brought home a 4th. His placings as a brand new racer continue to impress.

Sarah, the lone TAI woman, was 7th in the 3’s.

Monday night PIR was the fastest that many could remember. Men’s 1/2/3 report from David:

Wow!!  What a impressive showing of strength, team work and dominance tonight at one of the fastest Mon PIR on record, on pare with Tues PIR speeds!  Some of the fastest riders were there tonight.  We controlled the race from start to finish!  We weakened the field lap after lap with Cancellara-Like attacks coming from Brant, over and over.  Kevin, Shepherded Alex around all night and protected him with some super human pulls at 32 mph.  Roger took some impressive pulls out front as well.  Rich was right there in the action at all times, ready to do his share in the work to pull moves back.  There were multiple break attempts that were dangerous that all of us made sure that Alex was in, especially Kevin & Brant were right there at all times to make it happen.  Alex also had to give some pretty big digs of his own to get in the right position.
Eventually with 6 laps to go, Brant & Kevin put in some Hercules efforts that tore apart the tiring peloton and only left  about 6 to 7 riders off the front that included Alex,Rich, & Kevin.  The other riders in the break wouldn’t work at first so a few managed to barely bridge up which included Brant and myself.  So 5 TAI in the winning move of 13-14 riders and some of the fastest guys in the race left behind, sweet!
On the last lap we threw out a couple fliers, one of the best near the end came from Rich to soften the field.
As we turned onto the straightaway Rich was caught and some hesitation allowed for a Soraz rider that was fresh to attack, he got a good gap and then the sprinting fireworks started at 39.2 mph according to my Garmin.  Lots of dicey maneuvering which got Alex boxed in and then we had to start over with Kevin trying to lead him out of the mess as I moved up hoping to get Alex on my wheel but he went the other direction and still managed a 3rd or 4th place in the final sprint, hopefully 3rd overall with hot spot points.
We’re really starting to get the team racing rhythm & tactics down during the race, now we just need to put the finishing touches on.
That was the most fun I think I’ve ever had at a PIR race!  5 team mates in the winning move, holy crap!!
Excellent work guys!

Brad carried on with a strong 6th. The 1/2/3 women had Sarah and Stacy in the top 10, and newcomer Robin 7th in the 4’s.

Another great week, and we’re still the #1 team in Oregon by almost 350pts. Good stuff.

Tour of Walla Walla 2013

tour of walla wall.png

The TAI women, and the solo dude, Erik, headed to Washington for the 3 day, 4 stage Tour of Walla Walla. Very windy, hard racing was in store for all those that braved this tough race, packed with top notch racers from around the world.

Women’s report from Jan:

I think it needs to be termed Tour of Windy Windy…… holy wind tunnel Batman, it is breezy in WW. Friday we did the TT course as a recon ride and it was pretty windy. That was the least amount of wind all weekend and the damn wind built up over the entire weekend.

Here’s a summary…

TT:
Sarah our TT expert and only person who looks forward to doing a TT did great. Sara and I used our disc wheels and holy crap, I’ve never been frightened in a TT before, but that cross wind was crazy, only to turn into a 30mph slight uphill finish….yeah that was fun. Sarah and Courtney had top 10 finishes and were not too far behind in time.

Crit:

A couple of years ago they took a technical crit course and added even more turns. It is a great crit course now. In a combined field of Women 1/2/3, we had about 50 riders on the line. It was going to be fast fast fast. I, was not mentally prepared to be “in” a crit and chose to hang in the back so I can not comment on the actual race. Sarah and Courtney hung in there with the big girls for the whole dang race and looked great…..didn’t even look like they were tired. the finish was a tailwind section, but for some unknown reason it seemed like all other aspects of the race were headwind! It was wearing to ride in that wind. Stacy and I got pulled with 4 laps to go, but we got a “finish” and thus all were ready for the RR on Sunday.

RR:

The weather called for winds of 10mph. Bullshit! At least it was dry. As we were warming up, the morning fields were coming in and all the guys were a bit shell shocked. I did not pick up on how shell shocked they were until later, when I was the same. Anyhow as expected, at the feedzone climb, the pace went apeshit and the field blew apart. I believe we were Courtney/Stacy/Sarah/Jan in that order strung out with other riders. For me, I was with a woman from MT. We were doing okay until we got to the descent from hell……. a fast descent with a cross wind that had me in absolute terror. My bike shook and I feared the “death rattle” would ensue. I have never feared for my safety like that. Only to be rewarded with a ride into a wicked head/cross wind. then came the climb into the headwind that was unbelievable. After 20 some miles of that suffering and doing the calculation that I’d ride for 4+ hours if I did the whole ride, I pulled the plug after one lap. I have done this race 5 times, and only finished it twice. It is a beast. But Courtney and Stacy who eventually got together on the road dug deep and toughed it out!!

 

It was a great team weekend though….. lots of commraderie, fantastic food thanks to Courtney’s preparations, nice scenery, socializing with a lot of other teams…… we’ll do it again.

Courtney was 13th on GC and Stacy 16th. Sarah had a top 10 finish in the TT at 7th.

Erik fought hard in a tough field that had a very high attrition rate. He was one of the few Oregon riders to finish the whole thing. 116 starters, 85 finishers, and he was a mere 10min off the top (the last place finisher was >45min down). Great result, given he was alone in the field.

As an aside, a group stayed home, and didn’t show up for the always cancelled “De Ronde van West Portlandia”. And as such, newly upgraded Cat II Casey didn’t finish the route in an (un)impressive 2:58, with Alex on his heels, becoming the 2013 loser (and Strava non-KOM leader for the route). Kidding aside, that’s a really f’n impressive ride from him, Alex, and anyone that can finish the thing.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.41.18 PM

Master’s PIR Opener

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 6.13.49 PM

It’s that time of year again. Monday and Tuesday PIR, where we get the chance to go fast, learn team tactics, and bring home the monthly team and individual titles.

Report from Road Director David:

We had a pre-race plan that everyone knew about before the start:   Cover the front, Duncan goes for the sprints and Mike, Brant and Erik get launched by either Myself, Roger or Rich after the hot lap sprint.  Well, it didn’t go to perfection as a break went including Brant, Erik and Mike just before the Hotlap and it got pulled back,  so I didn’t think they would be ready to go again but evidently Brant & Erik were  ready and Rich was in position to launch them both off the front after the first sprint and away they went on Lap 12!  All the other teams were there in numbers but none could get organized to chase them down and it didn’t help that the rest of us, especially Mike were doing our best to screw up any organized effort.  Eventually with 4 or 5 laps remaining there were some hard charging efforts to bring them back and one rider got lucky enuf to be close enuf to bridge to the dynamic duo!
Brant and Erik shared the points with there new break companion that agreed to help and by the last lap they were out of sight on the straight away.  So Brant being the sacrificial team mate lead out the sprint for Erik but unfortunately the Rivercity rider got him at the line.  Erik and Brant did a ton of work out there to stay away so long at such a high speed.  It was a awesome feeling seeing my two of my team mates alone out front almost the entire race and the peloton being so frustrated at not being able to a damn thing about it.  Erik might still have won based on points, not sure yet.  It’s a great way for Erik to come back to PIR after heading to the hospital after his last race there!
The coolest thing is that we had a plan and made it happen and everyone was on the same page.
Not sure how the women’s race went, I thought I saw Sarah off the front with Sara Fletcher?

Great job to everyone who raced tonight! -David

[dmalbum path=”/wp-content/uploads/dm-albums/Monday PIR Opener/”/]

Photos courtesy of HotFoot Photo, all rights reserved