Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cascade Classic Report

Well, here I am in MI after a long day of traveling yesterday. There were a few screwups with the airlines that had me switching planes all day long, and I finally arrived in Detroit around 10:30 last night. Unfortunately, my luggage did not arrive with me, but it was delivered to my Mom's house in Berkley around 10:00 this morning, so all is now well. :)

Anyway, the Cascade Classic is now in the books and it did not go as well for me as I would have hoped. I made it through the first two days of the race, but ended up having to DNF on day 3. Here is a synopsis of the first 2.5 stages of the race:

Stage 1: We covered the first 40 miles of the race today in about an hour and ten minutes. Super fast race, with no GC established it was fun to watch the big 3 teams (Toyota United, HealthNet, and Navigators) attack each other. The race was fast but not all that hard until we hit the feed zone, which was set up at the base of the climb about 56 miles into the race. Immediately after the feed zone the road kicked up into a steep 3.5 mile climb, which had the effect of blowing the field to bits. It did not come back together over the top, as the remainder of the course was a false flat into a headwind for about 15 miles and a crosswind for another 10-15 miles with a one mile steep climb to the finish. Brutal. The front group killed it into the headwind and crosswind, and only 20 guys ended up making it all the way in together. I came in with a group of 33 guys about 14 minutes down.

Stage 2: This was the McKenzie Pass road race, basically rolling downhill terrain for the first 45 miles, the rolling uphill for the next 25 and the final 10 miles were up McKenzie Pass. Once again, the race was fast, with a break of 12 guys getting away early and Navigators riding hard tempo between 30-35 mph behind them for the first 2 hours. Groupo compacto when we hit the base of McKenzie Pass, but not for long as a group of about 20 guys immediately split off the front of the peloton. Eclipse had Shane Peltonen in this group, but a flat tire 5 km from the finish cost him his chance at a good result. I ended up getting in a group of about 30 guys once again and made it into the finish with them.

Stage 3: Mt. Bachelor Road Race. Beginning of the end for 'ol Karew. Race started with a 18.5 mile climb right out of the blocks. I was hoping that the leaders would just ride a nice tempo over it, which they did for the first ten miles or so. A big break went and the leaders started to chase, which put me way into the red. I came off with about four miles to the top and rode over in a little group of three guys. It was about twenty miles to the feedzone and we pretty much knew that we were going to be screwed, so that was about it. I think that I could have made it through the stage and continued on if the cut had been at 20%, as it had been in previous years, but this year it was set at 10%, so there was really no chance of making it in at that point and I dnf'd the race in the feed zone.

Hopefully I'll have better luck next week at the Tour de Toona. Adios.

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