Fred Marx

cycling photography and other images I feel like sharing

Archive for June 2010

Following the race…. Oregon Ho! (part I)

with one comment

The Fred recently had the opportunity to spend a week following the North American pro circuit into mountainous Oregon.  What’s going on in Oregon in June you ask?  The 2010 Indie Hops Mt Hood Cycling Classic.  From a sodden speedway prolog, to sun drenched roads in east central Oregon, the folks from Breakaway Promotions and the Oregon Bike Racing Association (OBRA) gave a clinic on how to run a great bike race.  Begin with a race director, Chad Sperry, who obviously loves the sport.  Chad put his heart, soul and back into running this event.  Add to this some incredible terrain, strong course selection, and a herd of volunteers, and you have the makings of a great race.

All that remained was to get a solid field to contest the race.  The Classic drew United Healthcare p/b Maxxis, the Bissell Professional Cycling Team, Hagens-Berman out of Seattle, Red Truck Brewing, Total Restoration Cycling from the Okanogan Highlands, as well a collection of  teams and individuals from the western states. Olympic medalist Billy Demong, came to contest the race, riding for Colesport out of Park City Utah.

United Healthcare brought the strongest team.  They demonstrated their power by taking the leader jersey worn by Paul Mach (Bissell Pro Cycling)  on the first road stage, and never letting go.  Morgan Schmitt wore his first ever leader jersey following a slippery circuit race on the slopes of Mt Tabor Park in Portland.
During a puncture filled Mt Adams Road Race, Schmitt was penalized 20 seconds for “excessive drafting” behind the neutral support car after a flat.  UHC, unaware of the penalty, rode to control the tempo and reel in a break away of four riders.  Nic Hamilton (Red Truck Brewing) survived a long day in the break to win the second stage over a fast closing pack of riders including UHC’s Marc de Maar and Sam Johnson of Hagens-Berman.  At the conclusion of the stage Schmitt was preparing to don the yellow jersey for a second time when the officials posted the penalties and protests.  As a result of what DS Gord Fraser felt was a debatable penalty, the Yellow Leader Jersey was bestowed upon Marc de Maar. At the height of the action Torsten Kjellstrand of The Oregonian caught the UHC team car and crew in an unusual predicament. Having picked a bad line through a corner, the team crew was forced to do a wheel change.  No neutral support for caravan vehicles.

No stage race is complete without a time trial.  The Mt Hood Classic obliged with the Scenic Gorge Time trial.  18 miles from The Dalles west along the old Columbia Gorge Highway, US 30, to Hood River.  This section of road, famous for the Rowena Loops and the Mosier Twin Tunnels, is far from flat and presented a course that made it difficult to settle into a strong rhythm.    The morning dawned gray, cold and rainy.  By start time the clouds had fled and the sun burst forth.  Then came the one thing that Hood River is well known for, the wind.  Windsurfers and Kite Boarders don’t call this place heaven for nothing. Note the prominent white caps marking the Columbia River below.

Following stage 2 the overall was close between Marc de Maar (UHC) and Bissell’s Paul Mach.  De Maar was able to extract 14 seconds from Mach in the time trial.  The groundwork was laid for a decisive Queen Stage, The Wy’East Road Race, to be run on a 91 mile loop from Mt Hood Meadows to Dufur Oregon and back.

Advertisements

Written by fredmarx

June 13, 2010 at 12:53 pm