We finished off another hard stage here at the Cascade Cycling Classic. It was the signature Mt. Bachelor stage, starting with a 10 mile climb and ending with a 5 mile climb, finishing at an elevation of 6,400 ft. We tried to make that first climb as hard as possible for Rock Racing (the leading team) and animate the race. I got into a couple of moves near the top of the climb but the race favorites closed down the gap and a move of 7 guys including our own Ben Jacques-Maynes got a gap just after we crested the climb. Ben was the high man on GC so it was a good move for us to apply pressure to Rock. Cyclingnews.com took some good photos of the action. Ben's group was caught about 8k from the finish but he was able to grab enough points along the way to become the leader in the Sprint Jersey competition. After Ben's move went, my job was to help Jeremy on that last climb as much as possible. He did a great job, especially considering that he lives at sea level so this is some thin air around here! He battled all the way and he, Burke, and myself all finished in the front group for the stage.
Tonight, we race in a downtown criterium. It consists of a roughly one mile rectangular course in downtown Bend that we will be racing around for a full 90 min. These crit thingees aren't exactly my favorites but we have a guy by the name of Kirk O'bee is one of the fastest men in the country so Bissell has a good shot at another stage victory!
Here are a few examples as to why I love coming to Bend for this race every year:
We stay at the Sheasby's home when we come to Bend to race. They (and some of their neighbors) are kind enough to house us, feed us, give us good company, and make us tasty coffee for the whole week. It is my 4th year staying with them and we've become quite close over the years, so it's like visiting friends when I come here to race! This picture was taken last night at the BBQ that they hosted for the team. We are treated to beautiful sunsets and views everyday from their deck.
And here is my Oregon girlfriend Kayla showing off for the visitors by climbing up this column in the living room and touching the ceiling with her head. I was impressed! I remember her big brother Rober' doing this the day I first met them 3 years ago!