Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A week in the heat: Cascade Cycling Classic, July 20-25, 2010, Bend, OR

For not being a 'road racer', I have a few stage races under my belt this summer. Since I had never done Cascade, I figured, 'why not?' It is one of the big NRC races in my backyard. I had no excuses, no conflicts, free place to stay, friends to visit, so this was the year to do it. I got hooked up with Touchstone Climbing out of CA to guest ride and one of my 'teammates' from Nature Valley was also guest riding. How bad could it be? Other than the forecast change of high 70's to mid 90's, it was a great event. Here is how it went for me.
Old Mill Prologue, Tuesday p.m.: Silliest, shortest race I have ever done. 4+ minutes of fun. I ended up 24th, so much better than I thought after taking the worst lines ever around corners and using my brakes way too much.
Stage 1: McKenzie Pass Road Race, 72 miles, Wednesday: This was a beautiful course. I witnessed the scariest crash I have ever seen. I was too far back when the climb started getting amped and missed the acceleration and was just within feet of the pack. Then had them in my sights forever trying to close the gap with no success. I was finally joined by a group and we rode together to the finish, not chasing, but just riding. We lost a lot of time this day, but lesson learned. Be at the front when a climb starts. Finished 30th. But Emily, my teammate, was in the top 10. I was now working for her.
Stage 2: Skyliners Time Trial, 16 miles, Thursday: My third TT this year on a TT bike. No expectations. Kendra had made me do some intervals on my borrowed TT bike the week prior. It must have paid off. I got passed, so I was pretty certain I didn't do very well, but I finished 17th.

Stage 3: Cascade Lakes Road Race, 72 miles, Friday: I had learned my lesson on Wednesday. I was determined not to get dropped. Well, the attacks right out of the parking lot and trying to chase exploded me. Dropped, but this time got back on with some work, no problem. Then I participated in the 'chase' after some got away. I was just doing what I was told. Then the last climb was brutal. I stayed for the first section, then it shattered. I was part of that shattering. I got with a good group that kept pushing to the end. We lost a couple of minutes. Not too bad. I was 28th across the line, and Emily stayed where she needed to be, climbing like a mountain goat.
Stage 4: Downtown Bend Criterium, 50 minutes, Saturday p.m.: This was not an exciting crit. 4 corners. Lot's of braking, a few crashes. I stayed safe. Finished with the pack. I had a horrible start, as it did not roll fast off the line, and I lost my balance, had to clip out, touch my other foot down, but stuck. It was not cool. Oops. I finished 32nd.
Stage 5: Awbrey Butte Circuit Race, 52 miles, Sunday 1:10 p.m.: I was dreading this race. It was in the 90's by the time we started, I had heard it was really hard. I was scared. But I was fine. I mustered through the 3 laps, almost got hit by a truck head on, tried to protect Emily and keep her out of the wind and racing smart. Probably got a bit dehydrated, but finished with the main pack. A few escaped out front, but no one really knew. It was fine. Much better than I had anticipated. I finished 35th. 10 girls were off the front at various places and 35 of us were 1:30 back. My overall GC finish was 27th. Not bad for someone who is not a 'roadie'. Is it CX season yet???

Amy and Aaron with their new addition to the family.

Pre-crit chaos.

6 of the 8 team members. Post race beers and burgers!

Emily figured her top 10 merited a little 'treat'.

Emily finished 9th overall! GREAT finish!

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Hey Sue,

Wondering if you're planning to race at the early CX World Cups in Switzerland and Czech Republic? I'm trying to get the travel logistics sorted out - thought I'd see if you're planning on making the trip.
If you want to chat about it, my email is vickith@yahoo.com.
Vicki (Canadian CX racer)