Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mt Hood Epic Stage Race

Day 1, Everyone looking at each other, Clint Gaver(Team Spine) goes up the road after the first climb, one guy tries to go up, a couple of people try to get to him and fail, then I throw caution to the wind and attack across to the chaser,John Hancock(Sierra Nevada/Specialized) before the main road. I don't want to kill myself and get dropped so we dangle out there, until when we are almost caught, Zan T bridges up and the gap opens, then at the Start/Finish (top of the main climb) Robert Pasco (Safeway) bridges and we catch the guy in front, so 5 of us with about 30 secs and 1 lap to go, behind they are again looking at each other and nobody wants to chase hard. I watch the others descend and catch back up when it straightens out.
We hit the highway again and Pasco is taking monster pulls, we drop two guys and Zan can't pull at all, by now we're almost catching the Pro field, we hit the cooper spur road and we have 1 1/2 mins!! Pasco again is hammering and now I can't pull anymore, so we decide he wins I'm 2nd and Zan is 3rd, we almost have to push him over the line to take the win. We ended up 1.45 up on Carl who took 4th, and 1.50 up on the main "players"....Sweeeeet.

I think I must have fried myself for the TT, 'cause I was not going too well, I did manage to catch Zan just before the finish and beat Pasco by 1.30 or so to rake the jersey :-)

The Crit was a non event for the GC guys, with the Morgan Stanley guys taking 1/2 Dan Smith won with Chris D'Alusio 2nd, oh I guess he's a GC guy too!! They also won the $100 prime with 2 to go. I must say the new (to me) course was nice, taking away the sharp right hander uphill to the finishing straight.
I was probably chatting to some 1/2 guys when I missed the Jersey Presentation...oops bad faux pas....sorry Chad.

The Queen Stage, well to put it Blountly, I got spanked. I must first say I threw up my breakfast before the start, nerves?? I don't think so, as I have done that before, when not in the Yellow Jersey, and I had a killer headache to boot. So, from the get go it was a case of survival and limiting my losses, hoping I would feel better later in the race.
I suffered on the small risers before the first climb, couldn't breathe, so I decide to ride my own pace on the first climb and not try to stay with the Big Guns! Well, I was about 45 secs back at the top, but Carl Roberts was up there trying to slow them down, and I got back on after the top, just in time to get dropped on the descent ;-) I had company though, as Kerry Farrell (Wheelsport)and Bruce Hodgkins (Excel) were hating life as much as me going down there, the we hit climb #2, and Kerry and I got back to the group, I felt a lot better once I got on, but Dave, Lindsay, Chris D'Alusio and Robert Pasco were off the front by 1 minute or so. Carl, Mike Rosenberg, and John Hancock chased on and off the rest of the way with me.Pasco was dropped by Zimbleman and D'Aliusio and we caught him near the top of KOM #2, thanks to trojan work by Carl.

I did much better down the 2nd descent, where Carl pulled all the way, then when we got to the bottom he flatted, he caught back and went to pull again, but he didn't have much left and we dropped him soon after. I was left with Brian McGuire on my wheel and very little help for the next, maybe 5 miles leading into the final climb. I never went all the way back, but I think there were about 8 or 9 in the group at this stage. Finally a time check, 5 mins to Lindsay and 1.20 up to Chris and Dave, I had 2.20 on Chris starting the day, so MAYBE I could hold onto 3rd?? My dilema was if I gave it my all chasing, then Brian would attack me and I would be left in 5th!! I kept pulling anyway, I would later find out Brian didn;t have a lot in the tank.
On the last climb, John Hancock took some good pulls, and then attacked just before the cooper spur resort, nobody responded, so when he got a gap I jumped across ( I didn't want to loose the only guy that was giving me a "dig") of course everyone followed me! After Cooper Spur I pulled all the way with no help at all, I think I was going good, then when we saw the last 200m Rosenberg attacked, then Kerry Ferrell (Hadn't seen him an a long time!!) but nobody else passed me, turns out I must have shattered the group.
Alas, I did not go hard enough as D'Alusio left Dave and took 2nd on the day and 3rd overall, by 29secs!!!

I was sorry not to hold on, but if you told me before the race I would have the jersey for 2 stages and finish 4th overall, I would have been pretty happy.

Results are here http://www.mthoodcyclingclassic.com/2006results/default.htm

Roll on Elkhorn!!


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