24 June 2013
NCCN’s Wheels Out contributed this report from Oregon.
Stage 3 Full Sail Brewing Criterium
The Full Sail Brewing Criterium winds around a seven-corner course through downtown Hood River. It features a downhill corkscrew and an uphill finish.
The race started out with a jolt delivered by Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16), who took the front for the first three laps and began whittling down the 29-person field to the 12 who finished in the front group.
After a few more fast laps, Katie Hall (Metromint Cycling), wearing her red QOM skinsuit, jumped off the front for her first solo adventure of the day.
Sara Clafferty (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18) and Tetrick shared the chasing duties and reeled Hall in after a few primes and five laps off the front.
The next notable action was an attack by Julie Bellerose (Metromint Cycling) which was joined by Clafferty. Courtney Lowe (Optum p/b KBS) bridged across to claim a big prime.
Tetrick, sensing trouble, quickly reeled in the the trio. The pace continued to be high with Tina Hughes (Metromint Cycling) grabbing the day’s $100 dollar prime.
With three laps to go the die were cast. Hall shot off the front up the start/finish hill, with an attack no one could follow, and expanded her gap with a fast run through with corkscrew. Tetrick took up the chase but the field failed to provide any help.
Hall maintained a gap of seven or so seconds as the lap counter wound down. The Tetrick-led field just failed to catch her at the line. Placing third was GC leader Amy Thornquist (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18).
Going into the Three Summits Road Race, with rain in the forecast and a difficult run on poorly maintained forest service roads, the battle for GC remained. Thornquist held a 19″ gap over Tetrick whilst Van Houweling sat a further 88″ adrift.
Lowe held fourth at +2’52″ with a further trio of racers within 4 minutes of the overall lead.
Stage 4 Three Summits Road Race
Thornquist managed to hold off a furious late race attack from Tetrick to claim the final GC victory. Up the road Katie Hall held off Ann Perry (K4 Racing /DNA Cycling p/b Plan7) for her second consecutive stage victory of the weekend.
The women’s peloton rode down from Cooper Spur and onto the Three Summits Road Race course just as the drizzle began to fall on Mt. Hood. A 20-strong group stayed together over the first summit of the day.
Down the wet and tricky first descent Fiona Strouts (Folsom Bike/Cervelo) distanced herself from the field with Van Houweling not far behind.
On the way up the second climb the two were brought back and a group containing Hall, Lowe, Perry and two of her teammates, Melinda McCutcheon and Breanne Nadler, gained a 50 second advantage by the KOM.
Along the ridge at the top a furious chase ensued from behind with Tetrick and Thornquist bringing back this threatening group. As soon as contact was made Van Houweling attacked and gained a small gap with a K4 rider.
They were brought back before the descent and Van Houweling kept trying to press her advantage down the treacherous descent. Her effort strung out the group and created a few stragglers; they chased hard at the bottom and a ten rider peloton was back together again after a kilometer.
A little after 10km-to-go on the third summit, Perry struck out ahead and was quickly joined by Hall. Lowe tried but failed to bridge the gap and the leading duo was off.
This left chasing duties to Thornquist who, after a few jumps, settled down to manage the gap and stave off any threat to her GC.
Up the road, Hall did not help Perry because Perry held an advantage over Hall on GC and was a threat to the overall standing of Hall’s teammate, Van Houweling. Hall finally stretched her legs at the top and claimed her second victory in two days.
The victory also sealed her title as Queen of the Mountains.
Perry was rewarded for her efforts by to pulling 15 seconds ahead of Van Houweling to claim third place on GC.
As the Yellow Jersey group made the turn to the finish, Tetrick unleashed a furious attack that Thornquist slowly pulled back. The two battled up the remaining few kilometers. Tetrick took back a few seconds but fell short of the 21 necessary to overtake the Pinnacle rider.
NorCal at Mt Hood
This is the last year for the Mt Hood Cycling Classic as declining sponsorship, support, and attendance have led to its demise. There was even a threat of a cancellation of the Elite Women’s race for this year’s event.
As late as 2 June only one rider had registered. However, by 9 June, registration reached 27 and the organizers announced the women’s race would proceed.
This was due in no small part to Alison Tetrick and other riders with a NorCal connection.
And that NorCal connection demonstrated the skill and depth coming out of the region. They took four of the top ten spots at stage 1′s Columbia Hills Road Race and ruled the roost with top-three for the Scenic Gorge Time Trial.
At the Stage 3 Hood River Criterium, the first eight to cross the line had a NorCal connection with winner Katie Hall putting in magnificent work early and late. Hall’s late work on the final stage’s Three Summits Road Race also earned her the stage win whilst NorCal were well represented in the top-ten.
Congratulations to Amy Thornquist on the overall win. The Pinncale presented by Argon 18 rider took the general classification lead with her time trial and never looked back. Thornquist finished with the same time as her closest rival, Alison Tetrick, at the criterium, and responded to Tetrick’s challenges during the closing stages of the Three Summits Road Race to hold onto GC.
Metromint Cycling’s Katie Hall won two of the four stages and, but for her time trial, would have challenged for the overall title along with Thornquist, Tetrick, and team mate Van Houweling. In the final tally, those four riders plus Fiona Strouts took five of the top-ten overall positions.
Bellerose and Hughes, racing for Metromint Cycling, also earned respectable top-twenty finishes in a field starting at 29 riders.
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