Cascade Classic Report

Cascade Classic report:
Stage 0: Pre-race warmup – Seward Cyclefest.  It was the PCP/Starbucks show in the 6:00race. 5 primes for $20+ a beer ticket each were on offer, and every other lap was for a pair of socks.  I took 3 primes + 3 pairs of socks, Doug took the other 2 primes plus a drawer full of socks, and Michael, Max, and Ed also got some new footwear. We had 4 SBUX guys and set Bradley Haley up perfectly for the win. The 7:00 race was also fun, I bridged up to a mostly HSP 5-man break at one point, and ended up around 15th.
Stage 1: Mt Bachelor Circuit race.  Drove all night to Bend, got up the the start about an hour before the race started and got ready.  This race starts with about a 7 mile downhil, is then mostly flat with some rollers down low for 50-some miles, and finishes on a long stair-steppy climb back to Mt. Bachelor. The peloton slowed to a crawl once we got off the initial descent.  My plan was to sit in and wait for the final climb, but I realized I could not abide another bullshit 17mph opening stage like Mt Hood and decided to take off. Took 2 not-so-strong looking guys with me for company. I did most of the work in the break. The first guy came apart before the first feed zone, then the second guy came apart just after the second feed zone. I lasted about another 15 miles. Had 2:30 at the base of the final climb but got caught by the lead chaser with 4k to go. He went flying by, no chance I could get on. The next two guys came up and I tried to hang but they were attacking each other/me, and I had to let them go. I stuck the next pair of guys and finished with them for 6th, 1:09 behind the winner.
Stage 2: I wasn’t sure I would be able to pedal the next morning after the big effort in stage 1, but I got loosened up on the trainer and knocked out the TT for 4th.  I had Jeff Spaulding for a rabbit, and got him just before the finish line. Moved into 4th on GC.
Stage 3: Crit. Hit my pedal super fast off the line and got a big gap.  Got a prime a couple laps later. A guy had bridged up but wouldn’t work. “I’m just marking you man!”  What a tool.  We went back to the pack, and that’s where I ended up.
Stage 4: Aubrey Butte CR. 17 mile lap with some good climbs. Was supposed to be 4 laps but they shortened it to three. A lot of riders were pissed. The officials were claiming we might not finish 4 laps in time to start the pro men’s race, but that was nonsense.  Whatever. The last climb was about 3k to the finish line. I basically sat in most of the race, strung it out up the last climb, then waited for the guys with teams to set up their sprint trains to the finish. When they did, I just put myself in second wheel and stayed there.  It got a little dicey approaching the final right hand turn with 300m to go, but I got through the turn 2nd wheel, went right past the first guy and never looked back.
Taken a bit more seriously (TT course recon, no big attack on first stage), I’d say I am due to win the GC on one of these Cat 3/4 Masters Fred races. I don’t like the sound of that, racing 2s or Masters 1/2s would be a different story entirely 😉
-Todd Sahl