Monday, June 7, 2010

Mt. Hood Cycling Classic: June 3-6, 2010






With rain looming in the forecast, it was an uncertain start to Mt. Hood Cycling Classic on Thursday outside of Trout Lake, WA. We had the cars packed and were ready for whatever mother nature was going to throw at us. I am happy to report that I stayed dry for 3 out of 4 days and the temperatures were agreeable. It was a fun 4 days of racing, hanging at the cabin hosting some friends. Good times. Here is a quick recap of the shorter OBRA event, as only the Pro/1/2 men raced the entire week. We raced Thursday through Sunday.

STAGE 1: Mt. Adams Road Race; 54 miles, 3600 ft. of climbing
Tim and I packed up in the morning and headed east. After registering, we headed to Trout Lake. It had been a while since we had driven towards Mt. Adams. It was great. And the race course was spectacular. Due to late snow, the race organizer had to have the road plowed, so there were sections of very wet snow melt with narrow passageway. There was also a few gravel sections. It was a lot of fun. Towards the end I found myself not in very good position, so I made my way to the front finally and was in position for the sprint. I was on a train, and then the eventual winner made a quick move left and almost took me out. I braked, but still held on for a 3rd place finish in the sprint. It was a good start for the week. Tim finished with the leaders, so he was also on equal ground with his group.

Tim's inaugural race in his new kit!

Stage 1 podium in the rain.

STAGE 2: Scenic Gorge Time Trial; 18.5 miles, 1974 ft. of climbing
Although I had done this TT twice, this would be my first time on a TT bike. And to add to the fun, Josh Berry lent me his disc. I was scared out of my mind initially due to the wind, but once on course, it was amazing. Unfortunately in the starting gate, when I back pedaled, my chain fell off (note to self: do not cross chain and then pedal backwards). I missed my start b/c I was fumbling around trying to get it back on. Maybe 6-7 seconds. And then I had shifting issues. I am not sure why, because it was shifting perfectly before. I guess transport, bike blowing over before the race, etc. It may have tweaked my front deraileur just enough to be a problem. I still had a fairly good race. I ended up 4th, just one tenth of a second off the podium. I was still in third in the GC, so I was not going to sweat it. Tim rode well, but his group is too fast! He didn't place how he wanted to.

STAGE 3: Wy'East Road Race; 71 miles, 8500 ft of climbing
I was a bit dismayed that we had a shortened course, but it was hard enough for sure. We started at the Billy Bob Snow Park off road 44. Our start was delayed by 40 minutes. But when it started, it was game on. It was a brisk race. One initial pee break. Since last year I got lucky, I thought I would try it again. It was windy. I made 3-4 attempts to get away, but no one was going to let me go. With those matches burned, I entered the access road with the lead group but with 1.5 miles to go, those with a few more matches were able to push the pace beyond what my little legs wanted to go. I willed them to go faster. I wanted to stay with the group. But pop goes the Sue. I lost a minute in 1.5 miles to the winner. Luckily, no one in the top 6 were close enough in the overall to threaten my podium position. I did not know that at the time, but I rode as hard as I could. That stage will always be a bit of an ass kicker. Tim hung with the pack until just before the access road exit and then it was all he could do to crawl to the finish. He fought hard.

STAGE 4: Hood River Criterium; 45 minutes of pain!
Before I headed down to Hood River, I had gotten word that the OBRA results were finalized after stage 3. Due to the rain and the slick conditions, they made it optional and the reversed the course. I was pretty torn with the news, but I was racing regardless. I needed practice at crits. And I really like this one. It was my first ever in 2007. Off the gun, I took the lead in order to be safe. I spent a majority of the race on the front, all of it in the top 5. It started raining during our race, there was a crash, but I was in front of it and by the end, only 9 of us finished. My strategy didn't work. I didn't get to the last corner first and I was too far back to contest the sprint and finished 4th. But I was safe, I had fun and I had the best fans on the course! Thanks to those who were there cheering. It is very motivating to hear, "Go Sue. Go Butler!" during the entire race.

Tim right in the mix.

GC leaders got called up. I think I was making fun of what the announcer said about me.

Off the front in the rain. (photo courtesy of Matt Haughey)

Another fantastic shot by Matt Haughey.

Our race dwindled to 9 or so of us. (photo by Maria Patla)

The end of a fun four days!

STAGE 5: CABIN CLEAN UP
I went back up to the cabin to spend the night, watch movies, do laundry, clean and then pack up and head out Monday. It was a great weekend. Next up: 6 hours of Mt. Hood and then Nature Valley!

1 comment:

Tayler Jae said...

Hey Sue! It is Tayler Wiles, I raced with you this weekend! I just wanted to say great job!! You are one of the nicest people I have ever met and by far one of the funnest girls to race with! Keep tearing it up, I hope to race with you again soon!
-Tayler :)