Elkhorn Stage Race

Elkhorn was a local west coast brawl with all the local strong peeps in attendance.  Stage 1 was an out and back road race with a gradual down hill heading out in the windy deserts of north east oregon.  Not much happened untill the way back when the fast button was pushed.  The gradual climb up the hill and the wind didnt seem to help the breaks any as nothing stuck untill a flyer move at the end of the race shot two guys to the podium leaving the remaining 30 of us who made the selection over the hill to jockey about for a 3rd place sprint.

Day 2 consisted of a TT in the morning and a crit in the evening.  The TT course was a good one for the power houses with its down hill, resuscitator into the head wind out, and gradual uphill/tailwind back to the finish line.  I was real happy to find out my disc had a flat 15 minutes before my start, great start to a not so hot TT that moved me down to 24th in the GC.  The TT shuffled around the GC a bit, but no major changes in the overall standings, as the first days stage seemed to test out everyones legs.

The crit was a fast L shape with lots of primes and lots of bumper bikes.  The middle region of the pack was sketchy, especially since the wide smooth roads of the course made riders going into the turns 6 abreast and there was no hesitation for the crit sharks to take those calculated risks.  There were a few attempts at breaks, but it stayed together and was a fast hour of racing.

Day 3 was a bad motha’ of a road race.  With 101 miles of racing and 3 big climbs, you would expect it to roll out on friendly terms, but as soon as the neutral roads came to an end, the attacks started.  The first hour was fast with lots of attacks and attempts at breaks made.  It wasn’t long before an 11 man break was established and gaining time on the pack.  I made a failed bridge attempt with 3 other guys, but after making it half way there, seeing the time gap getting bigger, we decided it would be smart to sit in the pack.  With one of DBCs guys in the GC, they wanted to keep it there so they drilled it up the climb hoping to thin out the pack.  Then in the last K of the climb, 3 bobs bikes riders moved up and started attacking to make the selection.  A lead group of 20 riders went over the top, but the rest of the pack had regrouped and caught back on the descent.  Once down in the flats, it was time to bring in the break and set up for the final climb to the finish.  The pack was strung out double file and the break was quickly losing time.  We got to the base of the climb and the break was within sight, and was soon caught.  The final climb sorted out the GC, with riders speckling the road and no finishing groups larger than 10 riders coming to the line, a few moves by riders in the lead group on the climb, but mostly a drag race to the line.  I moved up a few places to 17th in the GC.  The big shock of the day was the race leader lost minutes on the final climb, but most of the top 10s stayed in a relatively close to their starting GC order

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