Mt Hood Cycling Classic
22 June 2013
NCCN’s Wheels Out contributed this report from Oregon.
The last edition of the Women’s Pro Mt. Hood classic almost didn’t come off. Fortunately, Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16) and the women of Metromint Cycling rallied enough entrants to save the last running of this great race.
With Amy Thornquist (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18) taking the Stage 2 TT in stunning fashion, Norcal racers hold 4 of the top 5 spots heading into the Stage 3 Crit, as well as the QOM jersey.
The Friday road race saw the Women’s field roll out onto the windy course a little after 9am. The course featured three modest QOM climbs and a steep ramp to the finish.
Katie Hall (Metromint Cycling) showed her cards early by jumping away from the group for the first QOM. Soon thereafter Julie Bellerose (Metromint Cycling) and a rider from the well-represented K4 Racing DNA Cycling p/b Plan7 team headed off the front and established a 40 second gap.
Sara Clafferty (Pinnacle p/b/ Argon 18) did her best to manage the gap for the team’s GC hopeful Thornquist, held it down to 20 seconds as the group hit the second QOM, and then brought back the two leaders on the climb.
Missing out on the second QOM due to a dropped chain, Hall managed to secure enough points on the third to claim that jersey as the group rolled on to the finish.
The finish was marred by barricades mistakenly left on the road, leading the first few riders to head off course. Among these was Tina Hughes from the NCNCA, who is guest riding with Metromint for the race. Hughes looked set for a great finish.
The confusion benefited Anne Donley (Rise Above Racing) as she sprinted for the win ahead of Anne Perry (DNA Cycling p/b Plan7). Courtney Lowe (Optum p/b KBS) finished in third.
Tetrick and Thornquist finished fourth and fifth with the same time.
The second stage is a beautiful TT along the Columbia River Gorge. The nature of this TT is highly dependent on the wind. Most often the gorge is blitzed by the headwind from the west that brings so many kite boarders and windsurfers to the area.
In these conditions the course, despite its two significant climbs, rides more like a flat TT. However, when the wind dies down, as it did this morning, the course becomes one for the climbers.
Mara Abbot and Leah Goldstein have flourished on such days in the past. Today was Thornquist’s turn to join this group. Formidable on even the flattest course, she was dominant along the hill rim of the gorge, and took home a solid stage win.
Placing second to her was Tetrick, who yielded just 21 seconds. Third was Van Houweling who clocked in 1:35 behind. The three now sit atop the GC going into the evening’s Criterium in downtown Hood River.
NorCal also holds down the fifth spot on GC with Julie Bellerose (Metromint) thanks to a strong 5th place ride in the TT. And, of course, Hall still holds the QOM Jersey.
It is a good thing NorCal women rallied to save this running of the race. It is giving them a great opportunity to showcase their depth and strength.
This race coverage is compiled from different sources and Stu Bone and Rob Evans from Bear Development Team
“Talks on the line of a neutral roll-out turned out to be farcical,” described Rob Evans, “Those who believed the whispers spent the next 30min in the gutter cursing life. Tim Aiken rolled next to me and asked ‘should I be panicked?’ As a mentor, clearly I have to say no…despite 4+ Cal Giants riding away with about 15 guys.”
There was a break of eight riders very early in the 138km Columbia Hills Road Race. After more riders bridged up the group was left with a significant contingent of Cal Giant/Specialized riders.
“First time up the climb was infernal, I along with half the Bear Dev Team were spit out the back along with eventual race winner Eric Riggs,” continued Evans. “We worked with a small group for a couple kilometers, eventually getting back on. Over the next 3 laps Hagens Berman took up the chase, eventually catching the break as we hit the climb with two to go. At this point, myself, Bryan Duke and Tim Aiken were left waiving the flag for the Bear Dev Team.”
Out of final break of a dozen riders, attacks by Robin Eckmann and Stefano Barberi of Cal Giant/Specialized spread apart the leaders.
“Heading into the last lap, Eric Riggs (Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase) launched a ‘cheeky’ move towards the bottom of the decent taking with him a fairly large well represented group of 10 riders.” Riggs held off Brian Hitchcock (Herriot Sports Performance) for the win by less than a length of a bike.
Kit Recca (GS Ciao-Horizon Organic) finished in third place, Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck Racing-Mosaic Homes) took fourth, and Steve Fischer (Hagens Berman) crossed in fifth.
Rob Evans had nothing but praise for the Team Mike’s Bikes winner. “Big props to Eric Riggs for his win, that was a super impressive ride. I’ve known him since he was a junior so it’s pretty special to see him win a race like this. He said he was dropped from the break the final time up the climb, and fought his way back on. [Former team mate Daniel] Holloway tried to explain (via text) that Riggs is the master poker player but I like to think he’s the master of suffering.”
In today’s time trial, NorCal native Logan Loader (Cash Call Mortgage) swiftly crossed the 30km in 41’20.6″. Justin Rossi (Marc Pro-Strava) was 39 seconds off Loader’s pace finishing second a split-second ahead of Cameron Cogburn.
Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) and Ian Crane (Hagens Berman Cycling) finished in fourth and fifth.
Junior standout Adrien Costa (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development) had a terrific ride to grab seventh at +1’38″ but was later assessed a 60″ penalty for a centreline violation.
Loader moved up to first in the overall standings ahead of today’s later Stage 3 Criterium. He is 31″ ahead of Richey and a further 8″ ahead of Rossi in third.
Cogburn holds fourth place in the GC with a 40-second deficit whilst Crane sits in fifth 84 seconds adrift.
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