Cascade, stage 1

Since I’m poor and don’t have a computer, resuscitation its a little hard to keep updating when I’m on the road and away at races, hence the limited posts.  So to keep the excitement rolling, and something new to read every day, I am going to begin posting posts from cascade today and each day for the next five days, there’s no racing this weekend any ways since I couldn’t afford to race the Boise twilight crit anyways.

Cascade is a great race.  A lot of similar riding conditions to those of Klamath so feels a lot like home.  The flats in the desert and the long steady Pine tree lined climbs in hills.  Stage one started off with tons of crashes.  For some reason, someone decided to line the center line and the white strip with cones placed every ten feet or so, for the first k of the race.  Now one would think “This is a Category 1 race filled with pros and the nations top amateurs, They’ll be able to safely navigate through some cones.” 

But no.

Cones were bouncing around everywhere like we were trying to hit them, and within 2 minutes of the race there were at least 3 guys on the ground from different cone incidents.  I was on Chris Horners wheel, and the guy in front of him hit a cone that flew into his path, then Horner crashed, and I barely squeaked passed.  Everyone seemed to like the idea of crashing from seeing how much fun everyone that crashed had, so it became a popular pass time for the first stage (and later in the crit).

There was a break that rolled off early in the race, but it never seemed to really get any time on the field, and just floated up the road for most of the race.  Through the canyon and along the river and before I knew it it was the main climb of the day (aside from the finish).  Going into the climb I didn’t want to have to go around any gaps so I made sure to get as much road as possible on the guys in the back and it seemed to work.  Before long there was a split in the field, and a bad crash on the top of the climb which included a cattle guard, a rider hitting the ground really hard, and a motorcycling running into him.  Bad incident. 

The field was back togetherby 20k to the finish, and the riders on the front seemed to think it was time to start bringing in the break, and the pace to the front changed from easy tempo riding to bringing back the break tempo riding.  Health net attempted to lead out their man to the base of the climb to set up for the win, but Botero would have none of that and ended up in the leaders jersey. 

I felt good that I rode a lot stronger this year on this stage than last year, but my legs seemed to run out of gas at about 7k to go and they didn’t want to turn any pedals over.  The final climb to the finish is key to the win, and key to a painful slow humiliation for anyone outside the top 30.



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