In only his second race after a near fatal hit-and-run accident last winter, Tom Lyons was able to
While Chris Phipps won the overall in the 35+ at the Cascade Cycling Classic Stage Race in Bend, Arthur Jones was able to solo in for the victory during the final stage of the 45+ race. He attacked with 10k to go and held off a very strong national class field by almost half a minute – race reports below.
See below for a race recap of stage 1 by Michael Hernandez:
Ken Gallardo’s synopsis of the race…
Having returned from Europe on Tuesday and catching some sort of intestinal bug, I wasn’t sure if I’d even start Friday’s race. But, Imodium in hand, I set off for Bend with my kids and a buddy’s college-age daughter as their au pair and hoped I felt better Friday morning.
Stage 1 – 72 mile RR
Well, I felt OK on Friday and fortunately was stuck mid-pack for most of the first half of the race while Castia, Coughlan, Daly, Dyrwal, and Scobie monitored the front of the pack. Dyrwal decided to be the sacrificial lamb and got into a long break that allowed me to move to the front and help block and got caught as we approached the final climb.
Once we hit the climb, Chris sprang away with two guys for company (Eropkin of Safeway and Sam Krieg from Ski Utah) and one guy (Andres Gil) up the road from Paul’s break. Chris dropped Eropkin and Krieg like bad habits and shortly thereafter disposed of Gil. And he looked like he wasn’t even going that hard – disgusting. Anyway, I managed to get into the chase group and hang on, watching Lyman scream at the others to chase (not hardly!) and waited for my opportunity. I was glad we’d dropped a car at the finish as that allowed me to view the last 500m which I knew suited me for sprinting out of a small group.
Well, Chris stayed away to the end, so I just tailgunned my group as we turned into the ski resort. I kept an eye on the guys I knew and sure enough, Eropkin took a flier with 400 to go. I was close enough behind him to follow around the group but I let someone else close the gap (no sense chasing a NorCal guy!) and when we caught Eropkin at 150 to go, I hit the gas at the same time as Carinio (from SoCal) did. Well, he beat me to the line, but I snatched 3rd and the 4 second time bonus that came with it (along with the beer and podium girl). And thanks to Carinio’s littering penalty of 30 seconds, IDTB was 1-2 after the 1st stage.
Stage 2 – Time Trial
Well, I knew that wouldn’t last as my time trialing has been pathetic this season. So, I game planned my best options and figured out that by sacrificing aerodynamics, I’d go faster. Plus, Chris got his buddy to loan me a Sub9. So, I rode the TT of my life to finish 14th, about 2 mins down, leaving my 11th overall. It also helped to have my 1 minute man miss his start and go from behind me to provide me with a nice ‘rabbit’ to chase up the hill. Lyman won the stage but Chris was 2nd, only 11 seconds slower so he was still leading the race.
Stage 3 – Crit
What can I say, I’m not a crit rider, so I was happy not to waste too much energy and not crash. Finished with the bunch so still 11th overall at the end of Day 2. Andres Gil won the stage, so another Norcal win.
Stage 4 – Circuit Race
Full rolling enclosure, rolling terrain, beautiful scenery…and attacks from every side. What a blast of a race. Of course, having felt decent the previous 2 days meant that my stomach needed to act up today. I was really glad my fitness has been continuing to improve because I needed every last ounce of strength today. Every sip of my bottle made my stomach flip flop. Not fun. Getting into a break on the 2nd lap probably wasn’t that smart either, but there was no way I was letting a Bend guy get away without a ThirstyBear on his wheel.
Huge thanks again to another great team effort by Castia, Coughlan, Daly, Dyrwal, and Scobie. Their chase and bridging efforts allowed me to sit in as much as possible and totally discouraged guys who thought they’d have an opportunity for a stage win. We made sure there wouldn’t be a repeat of Madera where a break took 2 minutes on the final stage and turned the standing upside down.
I managed to conserve and take in some diluted fluids and not get dropped on the 3rd lap, so I was ready for the flurry of attacks on the final lap. The final climbs whittled the field down to 17 guys and we headed for the finale with Chris driving the pace. I decided to skip the opportunity for a stage win and instead went to the front to keep it lined out for Chris and knowing Andres Gil was sitting pretty 3rd wheel, so I hoped our efforts would still result in a NorCal win. I drilled it from 1k to go all the way to the final corner (about 300 to go) where most of the group swarmed past but succeeded in hanging onto the bunch and only losing a couple of seconds. Plus, we’d dropped a guy (Jason Boynton) who was ahead of me, so I moved up to 10th overall. Wow! Not bad for feeling as bad as I did all week. A great team effort.
Thanks for reading!
Corey and I went up with one major goal in mind, get Chris the win and ride for team victory.
Each choice made was focused on that result, and I consistently asked myself what the net result of my next effort would be. Is it going to help the team goal, or is it for myself?
That kept me focused on the game and how things would play out.
Patrolled the front early on and watched for moves. A couple of Oregonians went off and Bend Broadband went to the front. Paul and I agreed, let the Interstate rivalry play out and burn their matches.
Later a Broadband rider went off and they called their team to the front and started riding tempo. Corey and I took note of what they were doing and went to the front and road steady hard tempo for about 20 minutes and brought the rider back enough to have the deck reshuffle.
After a long coffee break, and a brief nap in the comfort of the field I went back up to get updated on the situation. Paul was off in a break and they were out of site. I asked Chris if he liked this card and wanted to play it out. He said yes, so Brennan and I sat close to the front but not in the way of the organized chase. We only let people in of they were there to work, otherwise we kept the door closed.
We hit the first of the two climbs and I did not have the juice to respond to the surge, but I kept it in the big ring and drug myself back to the pack. The pack had caught the break and slowed down, Hernandez who was in the break was now at the back of the field. My engine was running now, so I jumped up to the front to see what needed to be done. I did not see Paul and I figured he was still off, so I put my self on guard duty. Chris said we need to set tempo and started riding hard. Message received! I punched it and took over the pace making for the next 2 miles with everything I had. Tongue, snot, and mung hanging out, I churned as hard as I could until the lights went out.
It got us to the base of the final climb, and gave me a front row seat to watch Chris spread his wings and fly. It was exactly as we planned and I loved every minute of that moment.
Stage 2: Meh!
Stage 3: Keep Chris out of trouble and try to lead Corey out for a the Crit win.
I managed to get into position with 2 laps to go. We were sitting 3rd and 4th wheel as we got within 200 meters of the start of the last lap. I was tucked in nicely behind Broadband’s team van (huge rider with big power). I thought this was sweet as I had seen this big boy go, surely he is going to ramp this thing up.
He sat there in 2nd wheel and let the pace drop.
Not Good! It was too early to start Corey’s lead out, but I could also feel the swarm coming as we started the final lap.
The plan was to drill it down the back stretch and keep Corey in position. I need legs to do that, and going early might have put Corey too far in the front.
In hind site, I should have changed the game plan and hit it early to put Corey in position to surf the front of the swarm. Bummer!
But we still had yellow, and a good day of racing ahead of us.
Stage 4: Simple plan, keep a strangle hold on the pack and cover everything. We effectively smashed them into submission and they realized that nothing was getting away.
Efforts made were to cover were less about getting into a break, and more about ramping the speed of the pack up and dragging the attackers back.
After the second time up the wall and making the selection, and just as I had started working my way back up to the front I heard something plastic hit the ground. Just then Greg Anderson says “your Go Pro just fell off”. Corey and I had mounted his Go Pro camera on the saddle and for some reason the mount broke.
Well, I am not about to leave $300 camera on the side if the road and I figured we still had 5 teammates left in the field. I grabbed the camera and finished up lap 3 as a recovery ride.
I got to watch Ken and Chris come home safely in the pack for the GC win, and later to see Arthur win the stage for the 45s.
Pretty awesome weekend of racing, this one will stick with me for a long time.
Okay, final race report from our GC man!
Race: Masters 35+ 1/2/3 Leesville Gap
IDTB’ers: myself, Paul D, Ken G, Chris P. (In other words, we were 1/4 of
Weather: Hot, hot, hot.
Result: Well, not to be immodest, but we swept.
This race was like a three-week Grand Tour in three hours of racing:
promenade roll-out, cobblestones (miles of them), selective climb (3.5mile,
with 1000ft gain), hair-raising descents and (this year, just like in the
TdF) a team time trial.
The race plan was to set me up for the win so I could get a matching T-shirt
from when I won in 2007. (In that race, I won a three-man sprint of Billy
Innes and some unknown climber named Chris Phipps. I think that was the
first & last time that’ll happen.)
Right from the start, Chris and Ken worked the front to keep a solo guy at
30secs until we hit the approach to the climb. Phipps was
uncharacteristically reserved on the climb, but we nonetheless put down a
good tempo to where it was just us four and two others (Jason Boynton from
Folsom and a guy from Audi, who flatted at abt 10miles after we came off the
climb.) So down to 5 in the break, and 4 were wearing the same jersey.
Jason was doing his work, but starting to look a little ragged, so at the
feed-zone hill, we decided to pull out the knives. Chris attacked, forcing
Jason to close. Then, Ken attacked, forcing Jason to close. Then, Chris went
again. As Ken came back to me, I told him if Jason closes this one down, he
and I are gone.
So with 20miles remaining, Ken and I were away. Paul also bridged up to us
and so the three of us just cranked through to the end. (We covered the
final 20miles in 45mins, with my average HR for that time at 170.)
Paul and Ken were generous enough to give me a win, not to mention first
crack at the watermelon slices afterward.
At some point, Chris dropped Jason and came rolling in on his own for
fourth, only a bit behind us.
So a great day for the Bears, and gives a nice boost ahead of some serious
racing later this month. Ken goes international to take on a bunch of
Frenchies for the next two weeks, and then a few of us have a date in Bend
for Cascade. With a team like this, though, we will be rolling strong.