Every year, the men and women’s peloton send squads up to Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon. The road racing shift northwards used to be complemented by Mt. Hood Cycling Classic beforehand, but that race is now defunct and Bubba Melcher’s growing Little City Stage Race stands poised to possibly take the calendar slot from the brutish stage race of Hood River.
Nonetheless, Cascade Cycling Classic has persisted and grown into an event easily comparable to the prestige and hype of Redlands Cycling Classic.
Critically, Cascade Classic offers a Cat 2 stage race that provides fertile ground for younger squads to grow. This year, Bear Development, VuMedi, Davis Bike Club, Limitless Cycling Development, and Nate Dunn’s Data Driven Athlete team took a group of young riders to compete.
In the opening Crooked River Time Trial, Jeromy Cottel of Specialized Masters took 3rd, while Jonathan Penaloza of DBC pushed a fantastic ride for 5th.
In the subsequent road race stage around Mt. Bachelor, Jason Saltzman of Bear Development finished 4th, vaulting him up the overall standings. The next day in the crit, Jonathan Penaloza sported another huge ride, taking 2nd, along with a time bonus. The final shakeout on rolling, repetatively hard Awbrey Buttes stage saw Jeromy Cottell solidify his overall win, while Penaloza slipped down to 7th. A plucky final stage for Andrew Shimizu of Data Driven Athlete pulled him up into 8th overall and Jason Saltzman finished 10th.
The women’s pro race saw ambitious groups of NorCal’s riders make the journey to Bend. Velo Sports Group project sent 2 riders, Erica Greif and Megan Alderete. Diane Moug, who has ridden very successfully thus far in NorCal for both UC Davis and Folsom Bike was guest-riding for Metromint who also brought NorCalians Leah Thomas, and Joanna Dahl. Sara Bird rode for the ICE Sportswear p/b Pinnacle Racing team.
Ali Tetrick of Team Twenty16 Pro Cycling was top NorCal finisher in 9th, while a top 10 ride for Leah Thomas on the final day over Awbrey Buttes gave her 19th GC.
In the men’s pro race, Marc Pro – Strava cemented its status as an NRC caliber team, taking 6th on the team general classification which meant top amateur honors, and out-riding 3 other pro teams. The breakthrough team performance put a rider in the top 10 of every stage except the criterium, where guest-rider Tim Rugg opted for a crowd-pleasing 3-to-go attack for the $400 “gambler’s prime” amidst a huge and hysterical downtown Bend turnout. A sterling ride by Justin Rossi on the final Awbrey Buttes stage netted him 5th when he bridged across to the the winning breakaway before the final lap. Rossi and Rugg finished 18th and 19th on GC, respectively.
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