Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cunego, Cunego, Cunego!



It's a bit belated, but here's the deciding final k's from last week's Giro di Lombardia. The world's coolest bike racer taking the world's most beautiful race.
Bravissimo, Damiano!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Too Many Ghost Bikes


The Ghostbike project has, unfortunately, been active again on the streets of Portland. These stark reminders of our mortality have recently appeeared to memorialize the lives of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek. Their lives were tragically cut short in bike-car collisions.

Ms. Sparling was a 19 year-old student, beloved by family and friends, with a bright future ahead of her. Mr. Jarolimek was an employee of Bike Gallery, a cyclist and artist well known in the commmunity. Condolences to both of their families and friends. May their memory continue to inspire those whose lives they touched.

The car vs. bike debate inevitably picks up in the wake of these tragedies. Emergency meetings are called. The blogosphere heats up with thiny veiled, often misinformed, attempts to place blame. And then, after a couple weeks, everything settles down, little changes, and we go back to our lives.

While much has been done to mitigate the dangers cyclists face, and Portland is one of the most progressive cities in the nation in this regard, cycling is inherenty dangerous. Right-of-way arguments can continue until both sides are blue in the face, when a car/truck/bus/train and cyclist collide, the cyclist loses. Period.

The bottom line is that we have to do what it takes to get home safely each day. Use common sense. Give large trucks the extra room they need, stay way out front or way behind. Don't just check if you have a stop sign, but check if oncoming traffic is actually stopped. Ride only on roads that suit your skill level. Slow down, your boss/wife/parents/kids would rather have you there five minutes late than not at all. It's hard to make up much time by hammering through your ride anyways.

There are plenty of terible drivers out there who probably shouldn't be on the road, but we don't need to prove this point smeared all over their hoods. The police aren't going to spend their days ticketing minor traffic enfractions because they happened to endanger a cyclist. No amount of bike lanes and protected crossings will compensate for negligence on either side of the equation. All we can do is what it takes to get home safely each day, and then vote for leaders who demonstrate the willingness to continue to improve our infastructure to make everybody's commute safer and more efficient.

It's a beautiful Oregon fall, go out there and love life. Ride a bike, spend time with your family, eat a good meal and make someone smile. Serve the memories of these victims by taking those extra few minutes to stay out of trouble on the road and encouraging friends and family to do the same. Sometimes we all just need a little extra space.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A little scoop.


A little bird told me that Aaron Olson is going to be riding for Priority Health/Bissell next year and the team will now be Bissell/Priority Health. Talk about a sponsor that sucks (haha, I just kill me).


2007 Race Redux

Well, the days are getting short, the nights are getting cold and the legs are getting slower and slower. Yes, the season is over (almost) and the impenetrable depression that is winter in the northwest will soon be upon us. Rain will be measured in gallons and high-end road bikes will sit shamefully in closets mocking our spandex clad dalliances with glory that is the road racing season.

On the up side, my beer consumption is up, my sleeping in is way up and hopefully the bank account will soon recover from the strain of race fees piled on top of gas money piled on top of parts and tires and stuff.

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but the racing and drama really cools off as August ends, so hopefully this won’t be too long.

The Portland Twilight Crit was a huge party, as expected. Unfortunately, a hometown boy couldn’t nabbed the win but Doug O. brought up the back end of a HealthNet 1-2 while Chad Hartley(BMC) was breathin’ down his neck for 3rd. The course was SHORT, it seemed like the front of the strung out field would lap the back, but there were enough wrecks to really break things up. It seemed like the officials were pretty generous about putting riders back in the front group after a mishap, it probably ended up being easier to move up by wrecking than actually trying to close a gap. All in all, there were thousands of people out to watch us chase around after a big payday in the streets of our fair city. I wish it could happen every week.

Eugene Celebration Stage Race went down on a beautiful Labor Day weekend. Orion Berryman(MidTown) defended his home turf with a big win in the Stage 1 Maxon RR. The TT was mercifully short and had little effect on the GC, Sean Passage(Therapeutic Associates) took the win in one of his first ½ races. Young’en Carson Miller(Fred Meyer) capped off a successful season with a crit win while Marc Collard(Paul’s BWOL) took the Wolf Creek RR and the overall.

Some may remember Marc from when he won the 2004 Celebration overall. The 2004 Collegiate RR champ, he was gearing up for a 2005 campaign with Webcor, who had been tearing up the pro ranks with Chris Horner, but had some holes to fill as he left for Europe after the ’04 season. After 2005, Webcor folded (well, their men’s team did) and I imagine Marc went back to school, I think he said he was working on a Masters’ or Ph.D or somethin’. Apparently he’s landed back in Eugene, and he’s got a big motor, it shouldn’t be a surprise when he wins.

Dave Zimbleman(Z-Team) showed how to go strong all season long. He had some great results at the Banana Belts in March, and won the OBRA Hillclimb Champ’s in September. He put the beatdown on Carson Miller, who is young enough to be his grandson. Chalk one up to experience.

Molly Cameron(Veloshop) stormed to a nice win at Kruger’s Kermesse. The logical transition race from road to ‘cross had a solid local field as Doug and Shannon Skerritt(Vanilla) pulled in next. The infamous Zach Winter(Captiol Subaru) was also in attendance and showing he’s fit as ever, 5th despite a crash.

One last Crit on the schedule to round out the road season, the Sunset Crit in scenic Bethany Village is coming up on Saturday the 22nd. There’s actually a pretty good payday ($850 – 10 deep) and I imagine there’s plenty of fast riders coming into form for ‘cross. Look for guys named Skerritt, Reeb and Winter to make it interesting.

Next Year
Well, cross might be heating up, but that’s another column, some other time. What really matters is what’s happening on the road next year.

It sounds like we can expect three solid, Oregon based teams in the Men’s field next year. CMG, Therapeutic Associates and Guinness were all making strong showings as the season wound down. Look for the latter two teams to show off some newly upgraded riders while CMG is apparently picking up even more firepower.

Hagens-Berman kind of fizzled out as Solomon moved back up north (he’ll be back in Portland for cross though) and Andy Fischer focused on the NRC. Their elite team lost Michael Grabinger to the pro ranks before March was out. A couple other elite team riders got bit by the burnout bug gave up the glamorous life of amateur on the NRC circuit. Watch for them to put the focus back on the Washington based riders. It will be interesting to see what happens to the club that’s been the Northwest’s pro factory for almost 10 years now.

Doug’s rollin’ the Escalade next year, is he gonna get a new wardrobe to match? Word is Rock Racing is landing the likes of Horner, Rodriguez and Creed. The owner guy is a bajillionaire former cyclist and Frankie Andreu is gonna be DS. Very interesting.

Sounds like Evan Elken is still with Jittery Joe’s and Chad Hartley might be back in orange as well.

Aaron Olson is apparently going to be stateside next season, I have no idea where.

Next, end of season awards. Watch out.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Crit Racin'

Crit Champs!!!!!

Crit racin’ this weekend. Crawfish on Saturday, OBRA Champs on Sunday. Friday would have been the PDX, HealthNet, Twilight, no streetlights so be careful Crit, but it got pushed back a few weeks this year. And moved, hopefully to a part of town where the streetlights go on.

Crawfish seems pretty wide open, I guess it depends who shows. I’m guessing Hartley(BMC) and Elken(Jittery Joe’s) will be at the big money crits out east. If so, watch for CMG/Alpine Mortgage and Rubicon to duke it out.

The OBRA Crit, in scenic Gresham, should have a strong local field. Bike Gallery usually represents for this one with solid old guy power. Rubicon will probably be there. Donald’s never won this one, as far as I can tell. Will it be CMG’s day again? Who’s gonna make the break to settle this one? Personally, I’d like to see Chris Hamilton (Casa Bruno/Adidas) take a big one.

Can Nick Skenzick(Hutch’s/OIC) repeat at Crawfish, or better yet, take the one he really wants.

If Zach’s reading, come out and race. It’ll be more fun with you there. Seriously, you’ve got a win in ya.

I don’t like the drugs, but the drugs like me…..
Another Kazakh goes down. Wait, you mean there’s not just this race of incredible cyclists being raised in a nearly third-world country with no development program or bike races? Whodathunk?

Seriously, the exact same thing (homologous blood transfusion) your biggest star went down for three weeks ago? Give the doctors a little time off, jeez.

End of an era
You think sponsors considering filling Discovery Channel’s shoes were thinking about all the wins Lance racked up, or the fact that basically everyone who was there killin’ it in the mountains at the Tour (Heras, Hamilton, Landis) got hit as soon as they left the team. And so did about everyone they raced against (Ulrich, Pantani, Mayo, Basso).

Best team in the world? Best at something.

I’m kind of surprised Nike didn’t step up and do it. Nike Pro Cycling, it’s got a ring to it.

Hats off to the guys at T-Mobile for fessin’ up and cleanin’ house. Also, Sliptream is getting VERY interesting. Millar, VDV, Backstedt, Zabriskie. Vaughters still says they will not be ProTour next year.

I’m getting some end of year stuff ready. I‘d like to do an awards post. I need nominations and some ideas for the categories. I’ve also been working on a touching and heartfelt state of cycling post. It’ll be all nice and stuff. Send some ideas to uzideth@gmail.com.

Booyah!
Jza




I don’t like the drugs, but the drugs like me…..
Another Kazakh goes down. Wait, you mean there’s not just this race of incredible cyclists being raised in a nearly third-world country with no development program or bike races? Whodathunk?

Seriously, the exact same thing (homologous blood transfusion) your biggest star went down for three weeks ago? Give the doctors a little time off, jeez.

End of an era
You think sponsors considering filling Discovery Channel’s shoes were thinking about all the wins Lance racked up, or the fact that basically everyone who was there killin’ it in the mountains at the Tour (Heras, Hamilton, Landis) got hit as soon as they left the team. And so did about everyone they raced against (Ulrich, Pantani, Mayo, Basso).

Best team in the world? Best at something.

I’m kind of surprised Nike didn’t step up and do it. Nike Pro Cycling, it’s got a ring to it.

Hats off to the guys at T-Mobile for fessin’ up and cleanin’ house. Also, Sliptream is getting VERY interesting. Millar, VDV, Backstedt, Zabriskie. Vaughters still says they will not be ProTour next year.

I’m getting some end of year stuff ready. I‘d like to do an awards post. I need nominations and some ideas for the categories. I’ve also been working on a touching and heartfelt state of cycling post. It’ll be all nice and stuff. Send some ideas to uzideth@gmail.com.

Booyah!
Jza

Moving Day.

raceOregon at Kenji’s place.
By Jza

So, we’re going to have a little change of venue here. As racing heated up and I still had to go to my job, I didn’t have much time to keep an entertaining blog going. Kenji here seems to have the wherewithall to keep a site going full-on, so I’m going to drop some reports here. I’m going to keep posting on the raceoregon.blogspot.com site, just so I have all of my work in one place, but obra3.com is now your one-stop shop for all the bike racing minutiae your weary eyes can handle.

Another reason I lost momentum on my site is that this time of year usually leads to a dearth of cycling related news. Most of us seem to be winding down a bit, hitting a few crits and otherwise takin’ it easy.

Speaking of crits, Seth Hosmer(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) triumphed again on the mean streets of Vancouver. The break went early, as Donald(CMG), Seth, and Kirk Carlsen(Rubicon). The CMG boys played they’re cards right and Seth went on a long range attack with a few laps left to cruise in for a W. Good thing too, because Kirk dusted Donald in the sprint for second.

Nick Skenzick (Hutch’s/OIC) defended the south of Salem territory that is so kind to his massive legs and won in Harrisburg. The race was probably most notable because Zach Winter (Capitol Subaru) was in fact racing and was, once again, DQ’d. No word on why, and he’s probably not answering my messages anymore, but chalk another one up for Oregon’s most enigmatic cyclist. It also marked a new organizer putting on a race in Oregon, hopefully all went well and he will be around to put on bigger, better and more races. How about a crit in downtown Eugene? There’s gotta be a sponsor for that somewhere.

Seth then won the OBRA TT champs, no surprise there. I thought that Rob English(Bike Friday) might give him a run for his money, but Seth seems to be finding some late season form.

A bit of info I gathered on Mr. English: He is actually from England. He is working at Bike Friday for awhile. In England, if you’re a recreational cyclist you just race TT’s, there aren’t many road races. Rob was the national amateur TT champ of England. I imagine that is somewhat akin to winning an American Elite National Championship. He rode a 10:15 up McBeth Rd. When Billy Truelove was going crazy fast, he posted a 10:45 up McBeth. I’m not sure what Karl Maxon posted in his day, but imagine that Rob crushed any previous record. Apparently he had never ridden a mass start race before coming here. He races on a Bike Friday bike.

Jacob Rathe is coming back from Belgium with some wins, incredible.


A couple of crits on tap this weekend, Crawfish in Tualatain and the OBRA Crit Champs on Sunday at the traditional, and scenic, Gresham course. Watch out for CMG, though Bike Gallery usually has some experienced legs that can go fast for an hour or so. I’m not sure if the Rubicon guys will still be around.

The big one, Portland Twilight Crit, got pushed back a few weeks this year. Mark your calendars for Friday, August 24. It will be fun, there’s beer and music and a ton of people, and probably a bunch of pro’s to make all us amateur guys look silly in front of our families and friends. If you’re single and able to race, this is basically the ONLY opportunity you have all year to actually meet a girl due to a bike race, better bring a tight game.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back from the dead.

So, I ran out of steam for a little while there. racing 2-5 days a week, working full-time and trying to get a little rest became a bit much. But I'm back up on it and can hopefully get in some good rest before I get to go get dragged around the desert by a bunch of uber-pro's at Cascade. I've got a bunch of reports to roll out, I'll basically spread it out over the week before I go to Bend. So hang in there and I'll bust out some thoughts on Tabor, Elkhorn, PIR, and any other big ol' races that locals happen to find themselves at.

What should be freshest in our minds is the epic display of firepower at the OBRA RR last weekend in Eugene. The guest list included(but was by no means limited to): Aaron Olson(T-Mobile) fresh off the Giro and back home for some vay-k, Doug O(HealthNet/Maxxis), Evan Elken (Jittery Joe's), US national CX Champ Ryan Trebon, and his brother in height Barry Wicks riding incognito for Sellwood Cycles, Andy Fischer(Hagens-Berman)who's been MIA for most of this OBRA stuff, Aaron Tuckerman(Rubicon)who hasn't been having too bad of luck lately, and assorted and sundry OBRA regulars.

I'm sure most everyone was excited to spend a beautiful summer day rolling around Eugene wine country with best riders Oregon has to offer. Until like two miles in when stuff got crazy.

I think Tuckerman attacked first, with Erik Tonkin(Sellwood)and Mike Zimbleman(Z Team) in tow. Elken quickly bridged up and us amateurs were quickly in a world of hurt. As the pack hit Briggs Hill, shit got even crazier. Ollerenshaw and Trebon hit out to the leaders near the beginning of the climb and bridged the gap. In one of the most impressive displays of riding I've seen in Oregon, Aaron Olsen hit out and big ringed the entire climb like a psychotic eagle dive bombing out of the gates of Hades, and the breakaway looked set. Quinn Keough(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) and Chris Hamilton(Casa Bruno) were there to stick us for us amateurs.

Some fairly serious chase groups gave it a shot, but legs seemed to be weary from Elkhorn as Donald Reeb(CMG), Mark Blasckwelder(Gentle Lovers), and Molly Cameron(Veloshop) didn't stand much of a chance of gaining time on the lead group.

Molly is fresh off 5th overall at the Tour of Ohio. From the looks of it, a very cool race including the lower level pro squads and top end amateurs.
Check it out.

Now the big question was "who's the biggest of the big dogs?" Well, Tuckerman finally found a group he couldn't hang with and rocked a DNF. He may have been a bit winded from winning Elkhorn. Trebon showed some impressive attacks and proved that he can do it for more than 90 minutes.

But the finish came down to some good old friends Ryan, Evan, and Doug sprinted it out with Evan taking the win. I'm not exactly sure how they got rid of Aaron. Doug even updated his blog about it.

Word is AO may have been playing patron of the peoloton and dropping a Eugene rider who may or may not be known for his unsavory tatics from the front break. Maybe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dress Rehearsal

Rehearsal RR was last Sunday. Seth Hosmer(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) notched his belt yet again, taking the win after besting Doug Ollerenshaw(HealthNet/Maxxis) in a two up sprint that was all arms and legs. I wish someone had a video of the two lankiest guys out there winding it up at 200m. If Trebon and Wicks come back, we could have an all tall guy sprint off. It would be the bike equivalent of midget wrestling. Did somebody say pay-per-view???


The State RR course is a good tactical course. The climbs could break it up, but they both have pretty fast descents that make it hard to get a gap. The Briggs Hill section is one of the more scenic sections you'll see in OBRA racing.

Doug then took PIR tonight. So, apparently, his sprinting legs just needed a warm-up.

Tabor is Wednesday and could be a stacked field. A few pro type guys are kicking around town, Tour de Nez in Reno is the only NRC action this weekend.

Tour contenders are warming it up at the Duphiné Liberé (did I get the accents in the right places?) I'll start to get a list together of places (coffee shops, bike shops, bars etc.) that show Le Tour, seeing how it's the only bike race that really gets any live coverage over here, I try and make it out to watch a few days. Send me your fave place to watch, hopefully I can get together enough places that nobody has to go too far before they've had their coffee.

Friday, June 08, 2007

AWOL

Sorry for the lateness, I've been busy or tired or riding. Something like that.

Sounds like there will be some new faces in the 1/2 field as Jacob Rathe, Carson Miller and Ian Boswell all got the upgrade after Hood. We could use some fresh legs.

Seth Hosmer(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) won Tabor. Eric Tonkin(Kona) blew it all up. The weather was pretty blah and not many showed to watch.

Big track race this weekend. If you're into that.

Rehearsal RR in Eugene. Challenging course. Expect to see some fast guys and maybe some track guys.

The sprinter types who do it for money will be racing Philly on
Sunday(?).


Check out next year's Madone. The Bike Gallery guys gotta be STOKED!!! I thought those Lance frames were lookin' a little dated. CyclingNews.com has all the details. Best idea ever: no BB cups. You just pop the bearings in!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Big One.

Mt. Hood has come and gone. Not a ton of local news out of the race that was once the end-all-be-all of NW amateur racing. It turned into a logjam of the big boys as Navigators, HealthNet/Maxxis, ToyotaU, and Priority Health/Bissell dominated the GC. The new TT made it Nathan O'Neill's race to lose, and the square-jawed Aussie doesn't let many slip away.

Aaron Tuckerman(Rubicon) is starting to make these top-10 finishes at NRC races look easy. He was 8th on the week.


So I was obviously wrong about DiLuca. He kept the power going right through Saturday's TT. Cunego(Lampre) and Simoni(Saunier Duval) couldn't put the time in during the drag race up Zoncolan, though Simoni netted another big Giro stage.

The big surprise of the Giro was Andy Schleck's(Brother of Frank[Both CSC]) 2nd on GC. Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) absolutely dominated the moutains taking the Santuario Nostra Signora Della Guardia stage and a maglia verde for himself while giving away stage wins to whatever teammate happened to be around. Iban Mayo(Sunier Duval) also rose from the dead for a stage win, though was nowhere to be seen in thw mountains.

Overall, the race looked a bit different than recent grand tours. Riders who went on monstrous attacks generally faltered in the next couple of stages. The winners of the flat TT were not miraculous in the mountains. There was no Basso/Armstrong dominating every opportunity to gain time. The Santuario stage won by Piepoli absolutely devastated every rider. The Tre Cime de Lavaredo stage, which Piepoli gave to Ricco, had the lead riders suffering so bad it was hard to watch. DiLuca jumped to an early lead and managed to hold it. It was a great three weeks of racing.

Oh yeah, Pettachi's(Milram) sledgehammer-style sprinting is now back in full effect.


Aaron Olson(T-Mobile) made it to Milan with a depleted T-Mobile squad.





Here's some pictures of Damiano Cunego(Lampre) to wrap up my 2007 Giro coverage:



Pics from CyclingNews.com.

Jacob Erker(Symmetrics) took the opener at Tabor. He came out of a break of eight followed by Molly Cameron(Veloshop) and Shannon Skerritt(Bike Gallery)

John Leonard(Casa Bruno) notched his belt at PIR for the second week in a row and made the break at Tabor.

PIR and Eugene Twilight Tuesday, Tabor Wednesday, Rehearsal RR Sunday(in Eugene). 'tis the season.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Scary.

As everyone has probably heard by now, most of the Silverton were cancelled due to a pretty gnarly crash in the Men 4/5 race. Talk was that up to 20 guys hit the deck, several were hauled away on stretchers. Ryan McKnab got the worst of it and suffered some extremely serious head trauma. Updates on his condition can be found here. Best wishes to Ryan during his recovery and his family and friends through this difficult time.

I'm sure that there will be alll sorts of solutions to the crash problem discussed, but the reality is that bike racing is dangerous, there's no way around it. OBRA does an amazing job giving us as safe an environment as possible to get our race on. As amateur racers, we need to make sure we err on the side of caution.

On to the riding,


The Mt. Hood classic started tonight. Here's the prologue results.

Two teams got more than one rider in the top-10 Navigators and Team Rubicon (Harm and Tuckerman).

Glossy-media type Mt. Hood previews:
VeloNews
CyclingNews.com
Daily Peloton

K-man has lists upon lists of nothwest participants.


The weather forecast looks pretty good, guess we won't be seeing Decker sportin' his rain gear. (Pic by NWeventphotography.com)

There's been plenty of talk about doping with the big boys. I'd rather the clean guys that were racing in the late '90's just stand up. That'll be way less press conferences to keep track of.




















All this doping talk is overshadowing a pretty great Giro. Simoni attacking DiLuca through tthe streets of Bergamo was CLASSIC!!! Tomorrow is the Zoncolan. Watch it here, en vivo. Race ends about 8:15(usually). Cunego's gonna kill it.

Chad Hartley(BMC) has joined the chattering class.

Mt. Tabor tomorrow, better go fast, everyone's watching!!!!!!

I'll try and stay current with Hood.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

NO OFF WEEKS!!!

So there aren't any NRC races on the calendar this weekend, and several of Oregon's fastest are back home before Hood, which means that this weekend's Silverton RR field will be STACKED. I'm just guessing here, but wouldn't be surprised to see Doug(HealthNet/Maxxis), Evan(Jittery Joe's), Hartley(BMC), Omer Kem(Priority Health/Bissell), Andy Fischer(Hagens-Berman) as well as Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage), Donald and the CMG/Alpine Mortgage crew, and Team Rubicon fresh out of the Tri-Peaks leader's jersey.

Zach Winter ended up taking the win in the Golden City crit, making him 2-for-2 last weekend. Watch out for the Captol Subaru jersey on Sunday.

John Leonard(Casa Bruno) won PIR, neither of the top-3 were Rubicon or BMC, wow.

King of the Mountain starts next Wednesday, that's right, the Mt. Tabor series. Bring it!!!!!

Not much to talk about this week, next will be busy Hood, Tabor, PIR, Philly Week. Locals should be at all of them.


Giro hasn't shown much yet. Aaron Olsen has been putting his time in at the business end of the peloton, defending the Maglia Rosa with a 6 man team (OUCH!!!!). I'm pretty sure that'e him sitting on Pinotti's wheel.

Here's my viewing guide/predictions:
Salvodelli wins tomorrow(Stage 12).


DiLuca will fade (that's a guarantee).







Cunego will only get stronger.













Simoni will do more ballin' than winnin'. He's a baller.







The Dark Horses: Ricco(Saunier Duval), Simoni already called him the team leader in a bit of pre-race gamesmanship; Andy Schleck(CSC)on the podium?; how well will Salvodelli climb?.

See you Sunday, I got rained on tonight. WHILE DOING MONSTER HILL INTERVALS, BOOOOYAAAAAHHHH!


For some reason comments were turned off for the last post, I'm not sure how. I didn't do it.
They're back on.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Motorin'!!!!(What's your price for flight)

Team Rubicon's wild ride at the Tri-Peaks Challenge has come to an end. After three stages defending the leader's jersey, Karl Menzies(HealthNet/Maxxis) took the lead after the Stage 4 TT. That left the penultimate Mt. Nebo climb to decide the GC.

On Mt. Nebo, Jelly Belly uber-climber Andy Bajadali managed to launch himself to the top of the GC, crazy fast skinny guy Chris Baldwin(ToyotaU) snuck into second and New Zealand-via-Vancouver/Portland's own Aaron Tuckerman(Team Rubicon) landed 3rd overall.

Aaron was going super-fast at this time last year, but this ride is above and beyond. Mad respect to all of Team Rubicon for not only winning stage but defending the jerey through most of the race. Watch out at Hood!

Unfortunately, media coverage at Tri-Peaks was scant at best. Aaron's stage-1 win was ahead of schedule and there was nobody there to get a pic. Results also barely trickled in over cyclingnews.com. We're used to seeing results of our amateur races an hour or two after the finish (OBRA is the best!!!).


So Zach Winter(Capitol Subaru) went off and does what he does best: start trouble one day and then totally throw down the next. Here he is taking his victory lap at the Table Rock RR way down south. Pic by theK-man, who has a bunch of 'em up over on his site.

Young'en Ian Boswell(Hagens-Berman) took the 3's.

Aaron Coker(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) took a great win on Swan island in the pouring rain Sunday afternoon. After Donald Reeb(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) attacked after the final prime lap, Aaron bridged up with a small group and took a great sprint.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tuckerman wins at Tri-Peaks!!!

Holy moly, Aaron Tuckerman(Rubicon) took the first stage of the NRC Tri-Peaks Challenge over Karl Menzies and Chris Baldwin. Check it out.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What the????

The craziest thing happened at PIR last night. A small group of riders decided that they could ride faster than the rest of the field and, I don't quite know how to say this, broke away from the main bunch. Well, this "breakaway" managed to last, like, the whole race. It lost a few guys and Steve Holland(Finnegan's Toys/Discover Chiropractic) managed to bridge up to it. But in the end, PIR did not come down to a Rubicon driven bunch sprint, because Rubicon is in Arkansas, more on that later.

Steven Beardsley(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) did best Chad Hartley(BMC) in the bunch sprint, so good for him. Zach Winter was back in action and looking pretty strong. Apparetnly he did not pay so his top-10 result will go unrecorded.

Question for OBRA: Why record the "not signed in" guys at all. Why not just ignore them completely, offer points to the top 10 or whatever riders that sign and pay, and not give the guys that don't pay the satisfaction of being the NSI 7th place guy? Here's some pics.

Joe Martin ended up being fairly kind to local boys. Chad Hartley took 5th in the final day's hilly crit, Dan Harm(Rubicon) ended up 16th on GC. Tri-Peaks is this weekend so hopefully those guys can keep the ball rollin'.

The TTT State Champ's were a week or two ago and the CMG/Alpine Mortgage guys led by Seth Hosmer took that one with half a minute to spare. Carson Miller(Fred Meyer/Lakeside), Jacob Rathe(BBC), and Ian Boswell(Hagens-Berman) took the Cat 3's no problem. How long 'till they're all in HB kits?

The racing is spread far and wide this weeekend Table Rock on Saturday, Swan Island and Golden City crits on Sunday. Yes, an OBRA race south of the border, what is this world coming to? Enumclaw is also happening this weekend in Washington, it's an omnium instead of a stage race this year.

You should be able to watch the Giro over at RAI, I can't seem to get it to work on my Mac, but I could on my girlfriend's PC and the video qualty was great. Most stages finish up about 8'ish, perfect for watching the last 40k before you're out the door to work (or a ride if you're lucky). I'm calling it now: Cunego, Cunego, Cunego!!!!

Did anyone catch that Simoni was bitchin' about his younger, fitter teammate (Ricco) this year before the race even started?

Aaron Olsen(T-Mobile) is again riding the best bike race in the world. Hopefully this year he carries that over into a Tour appearance instead of mopping the floor with us this July.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Big Results at Joe Martin!!!

Stage 2: Donald Reeb(CMG/Alpine Mortgage), 10th, without teammates (WOW!).
Chad Hartley(BMC), 14th.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

While I was out.......

So, it's been a little while. I'm finally settled in Portland more permanently, Comcast FINALLY got my internet hooked up, the mountain of moving boxes in my living room is now a small pile, and my fitness isn't totally gone.

On the Oregon tip, the biggest news seems to be the carnage at PIR. The first 1/2 PIR in May had a nasty wreck going into the last turn of the first hot-spot lap. A couple Rubicon guys went down, one from Hagens-Berman, a French(?) guy who I'd never seen before. Mark Duff(Guinness) apparently got the worst of it with a broken collarbone and collapsed lung, hopefully he's recovering.


The May 7 Masters' race also featured a nasty wreck, captured here by Shane Young at OregonVelo.

It seems as though guys might be keeping it a little too tight on the curves for a Tuesday night series. Yeah, PIR can be fast, but the sprints are like 500 meters long. It's not exactly one of those course where the first guy around the bend wins the race. The Monday crash was apparently caused by a seam in the pavement, so that might be a different issue all together.

For some reason, the OBRA schedule experiences a big drop-off in road races when May hits. Meanwhile, the Washington schedule remains lively:

Vance Creek Road Race - It was a while ago (April 29), but deserves a mention. How's this for a stacked field: Tyler Farrar(Cofidis), Ian McKissick(BMC), Doug Ollerenshaw(HealthNet/Maxxis), Evena Elken(Jittery Joe's), and David Richter(ItalPasta), just hangin' out at the weeekend amateur race. Maybe someone established a regional pro championship that nobody else knows about. Add those guys to a full Hagens-Berman squad and the Rubicon boys who are riding out of their skulls these days and we've got a race on our hands.

On a windy course with all that horsepower, the field shattered into a select 12-15 rider group containing most of the Rubicon guys and about all of the pro's. Doug, Tyler and Aaron Tuckerman(Rubicon) managed a gap which Doug eventually dropped out of. Farrar was the not so surprising winner and the rest of the results are right here.

Washington also settled their State Championship last weekend on a course in Longbranch, WA near Tacoma. The course was fairly difficult. It was seven laps of a 10 mile with one extremely steep(12-14%) climb of about 800 meters toped off with a rolling section before the descent whipped us back around the course to do it again.

A break got off early, and much to everybody's surprise, stayed away for about 6 of the seven laps. Chris Daifuku(First Rate Mortgage) took the win, ageless fast guy Dave Zimbleman(Z Team) was there to help the break motor along. Hagens-Berman put in a couple laps of serious chase, but the obvious contenders Russell Stevenson(BRI), Jamie Stangeland(Wines of Washington), and Lang Reynolds(Axley) seemed pretty OK with the break and just settled in to finish the race. Pro's in attendance included Richter, Brandon Crichton(Symmetrics), and Ryan Miller(Toyota United). Mike Hone's got all the pictures you need to see. WSBA's got results.

The month of May also means that the NRC really heats up. Hagens-Berman sent a team to Gila. Sam Johnson looked to be their strongest rider finishing with the main pack most days. Former Broadmark rider Tom Peterson(Slipstream/Chipotle) took a HUGE win in the stage 3 road race.

The Joe Martin Stage Race kicked off on Friday, a bunch of NW riders are in attendance: Chad Hartley(BMC), Team Rubicon, Hagens-Berman, Donald Reeb(representing CMG/Alpine Mortgage solo), Omer Kem and Morgan Schmitt(Priority Health). Bend's own Andy Fischer(Hagens-Berman) put in a very immpressive 14th on the first stage.

Bits of team news to wrap it up:
- Chad Nikolz has stepped back from a spot on the Hagens-Berman Elite squad and is now racing for Axley Sunglasses, where he'll also work.
- Mikkel Bossen(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) is apparently a Scientologist and has decided to try out for some Scientologist conflict diffusion team. Now that's an experience you don't get on a bike. Apparently we won't get to see him go crazy fast when crit/track season is in full swing.
- Ian McKissick(BMC) is over in Europe where the BMC squad won the TTT at the Giro del Friuli Venezia Giulia. That's a long way from winning Elkhorn.

Keep the rubber side down.
I'll try and post more.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A bit busy.

I've been moving this week and don't have a computer to sit down at and do a full report. I should be back up on it in a day or two.

Elken(Jittery Joe's) killed the Roubaix. Donald and Seth(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) followed him in. Sounds like a good race.

Big wreck at PIR last night, several guys went down HARD on the last turn of the first Hot Spot lap. Sounds like Mark Duff(Guinness) got the worst of it. Rubicon won, again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mad Props

So Chad Hartley(BMC) even went back to get his tossed bottle after winning the Three Rivers Race, which is probably something very few of us would bother doing. Good on you Chad! We're lucky to have a classy little group of pro's in our fair state.

Also, mad props to your sponsor, Clif-bar, for having the tab on their gels stay attached after you open it. Lord knows I've dropped more than my share of gel pack tabs on the roads over the past few years. Not to get on some crazy environmentalist bent, but every little bit, you know.

Rubicon raged all over PIR last night. Chad had a good showing, Steve Holland(Finnegan's/Discover Chiropractic) was in the mix, the rain stayed away, nobody went down, all in all a nice night at the racetrack.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Onion Country

It looks like the biggest stage race for us amateurs this year may have been the Tour of Walla Walla. With the unfortunate demise of Columbia Plateau and Tour of Willamette, and the rise to prominence of Mt. Hood, WW will be the only northwest stage race geared at amateurs until Elkhorn rolls around. Mike Hone has pics up at his Flickr site.

So, I wasn't at the race but Matt Weyen(Bob's Bicycles.com) won. I may have mentioned his name before (and may have overestimated his weight, but hey, he's BIG compared to me [but who isn't]), nobody should be too surprised at that result. He opened up a gap by winning the time trial and finished with the front bunch for the rest of the stages (2nd in the crit) and was probably the strongest guy there.

Hagens-Berman was, of course, well represented as Oregons own Andy Fischer took 6th overall and won the stage 3 Waitsburg RR. Donald Reeb(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) made the top-10 overall. CMG teammate Seth Hosmer, whose scorching form has apparently cooled a bit, rounded out the top-20.

The Three Rivers RR was on Sunday for us Oregon guys that couldn't make a trip to Walla Walla. This was a great race on beautiful roads with little traffic, it could become really big (how 'bout we make it part of the Oregon cup?). Candi said the state championship was probably going to be on the 3 Rivers course next year.

As for the race, wel Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage) and Chad Hartley were there and the peloton basically let them have their way. An early group of six got off and on the second lap, Kenny and Chad were allowed to motor on up to it and the rest is right here.

Mark Blackwelder(Gentle Lovers) had a good ride bridging the gap with Steve Holland(Finnegan's/Discover Chiropractic) and picking off a few stragglers from the break.

Memo to Chad:
Dude, thanks for coming to race with us on your off weekends, it's cool to race with pro's and get a feel for how you guys ride. That said, it is probably not a good idea to be tossing your bottles off in the middle of nowhere backwoods Oregon. At the Tour de Georgia extra bottles probably make cool souvenirs for the kids watching, at OBRA races it's throwing trash in the yards of the people who happen to live on the course. Promoters lose courses because of the impact on the area us riders make. Please help us keep cool up and coming races going and be an example to the rest of us who, though none of us will admit it, look up to you pro's. Use the feed zone, at least there's someone to pick it up.

Janez Brajkovic won the Tour de Georgia, and will one day win the big one (in France). He's like 115lbs and can (almost) TT with the best of 'em.


Evan Elken(Jittery Joe's) top-10'd the final stage's wicked fast bunch sprint (that's him in the white there) pic by Jonathan Devich from CyclingNews.com.

Doug Ollerenshaw(HealthNet/Maxxis) hung tough even though that crazy ass 29 minute break took him WAY out of contention. He even showed for suicide duty jumping with like 3k to go in one of the circuit finishes.

See you guys at PIR unless it gets real nasty, which it probably will. Go race in Eugene this weekend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Riders Down!!!

Apparently there was a big pile-up at PIR in the 1/2/3 field last night. After riding home through the pouring rain, I decided not to go. If anyone's got the scoop, holla.

The results were dominated by Rubicon, who are effing flying right now.

Before I forget, everyone should go do the Estacada TT that the Bossen family is putting on. Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage) showed some fine form last week winning the TT a day after King's Valley. Does this mean he'll defend the series lead this weekend or head to Walla Walla with everyone else?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Plenty for everyone.

Big weekend of racing just finished up(or just started if you happen to be in Georgia). Plenty of NW guys have been going plenty fast over the past week or so.


Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage) took the win at King's Valley. Seems that there was some confusion as a break got past the lead car. Not sure how nobody noticed that Donald(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) and Paul(Hutch's/OIC) weren't in the field for the finale, it must have been eerily quiet. Chad Hartley(BMC) was the lone Pro. Oregon Velo has all the pics.

The weather looks beautiful from the pictures. I haven't heard of any wrecks or misbehavior, so send something in.


The forecast for TST as of Friday afternoon was 90% chance of rain and a high of 50. We got lucky, it was beee-yooo-tiiiii-full. Hagens-Berman avenged their ball dropping at the Brad Lewis Crit by going 1,2. Super-fast track guy Adrian Hegyvery took the win and Oregon's own Andy Fischer was hot on his heels. Here's Andy leading Adrian up a climb, Will Routely(Symmetrics) was the only pro in the field, he's the yellow and black bit jutting out the side there.

Adam Curry is stateside and in fine form. Apparently he will be based in Seattle this season, so somebody else will have to drive the truck to PIR. Chad Nikolz was around to reinforce his reputation as the most handsome rider in the peloton. This year he added an authentic California tan to his repetoire.

Mike Hone of Hagens-Berman was there with his ridiculously expensive camera to get these shots. He's got one of the best flickr accounts anywhere, he's a way talented photographer for bike and other stuff. Check it out.

It seemed like the top end of the 1/2 peloton was spread a bit thin this weekend. Both of the aforementioned races were not exactly said to be screaming fast. The top guys were predisposed (Georgia, Sea Otter) and two big NW races in one day spread the fast guys pretty thin. Kenny didn't even make it back for Seward Park on Sunday(which Chad Nikolz of Hagens-Berman won).


The Rubicon boys came out screaming for Sea Otter. Tuckerman ended up 5th and Harm 10th. Sea Otter might not be as big as it used to be but that is seriously impressive. Maybe you guys should stay in Oregon and race in some good weather!
Here's some pics of them teaching kids about bikes and life and hard work and stuff.

Matt Brandt(Rudbicon), I think he's from Wisconsin, was the best U23 at the Sea O.

Jacob Rathe(Beaverton Bicycle Club) won his race at the Otter (under 16?).

So this guy goes to Georgia and is riding his bike, stop me if you've heard this one before, and he runs into an Italian, an Australian and a Belorussian. Well to make a long story short .....................DOUG OLLERENSHAW(HealthNet/Maxxis) GOT 2ND IN STAGE 1 OF THE TOUR DE GEORGIA. Daniele Contrini(Tinkov) got away at the end but Doug unleashed world famous hellacious sprint and left Navigator Ben Day in the dust for 2nd. Congrats to Doug, huge ride! PezCycling News has great daily coverage.

Evan Elken(Jittery Joe's) was actually involved in forming the breakaway but didn't hang on for the ride.

As an aside, why isn't Jelly Belly at the TdG? They freakin' won Redlands, the crowds love the bean boys. They were at Sea Donkey.

Seattle area fast guy Lang Reynolds(Axley) got a guest rider spot on Priority Health/Bissell for Sea Pony.

Barry and Ryan (Kona) both top-5'd the Sea Turtle short track.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Go Time.


Big weekend of racing for everybody.

Hagens-Berman Cycling Team puts on what is either the best or worst race of the year(depending on the weather)at Tahuya-Seabeck-Tahuya. May God have mercy on the Olympic Peninsula this weekend. Look for the Washington and BC teams to do some big time bangin'. The TST course is about the only (single day)non-circuit race on the northwest race calendar, its got hard climbs and fast descents and everything else that makes for an exciting race. Look for Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage)to add to his Brad Lewis Memorial Crit win from last week. Chad Hartley(BMC) might be there. I'm guessing David Richter will show, still don't know who he rides for these days. The Hagens-Berman guys will be out in force to defend their special race.Axley, BRI, and Recycled would love to spoil the party. According to his very entertaining blog, Tom Peterson(Slipstream/Chipotle) is already in Georgia preparing for the Tour de, so count him out.

King's Valley will keep the Oregon racers busy. Beautiful course and Scott Goldstein does a great job putting it on. Look for CMG to reestablish themselves as the team to beat. They've been a little short handed in the past couple races without Seth Hosmer. If he's there, watch out. I heard Evan Elken(Jittery Joe's) is already in Georgia. Doug Ollerenshaw(HealthNet) might be at Sea Otter, that's just a guess, but he's also preparing for TdG.

Zach Winter will be reappearing soon as a member of the Capitol Subaru squad out of Salem. Im pretty sure he's the only 1/2 rider on the team.

Sea Otter is happening. I haven't seen a start list, but Rubicon will be there.

As mentioned above, Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage) did indeed take the win at the Brad Lewis Memorial Crit in Seattle on Easter Sunday. The winning break of nine featured three Hagens-Berman(Curry, Nikolz, Clayville,)two Rubicon(Tuckerman, Carlsen), Kenny and Russell Stevenson(Benaroya Research Institute). Talk about the who's who of NW racing.


The race featured a bunch of wrecks. Morgan Schmitt(Priority Health/Bissell), went down, Dan Harm(Rubicon) also hit hard, no word on injuries. Mike Hone was there to put it all on film.


Ira Ryan was the finished the Portland commemoration of the Tour of Flanders first. He may have missed one of the last climbs, though. His bike has his name on it.

This guy finished it on a fixie. That is crazy.
The weather was (appropriately) shittay.
Dave Roth took a bunch of pictures.

No excuses this weekend. Everyone's got a few races in the legs, knows their competition and knows their teammates. It's time to get a win.......

Yes, I know this entry is formatted poorly, but I need to go to bed.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Svein-tastic!


Mad props to former Broadmark rider Svein Tuft(Symmetrics) for sticking it to the big teams (HealthNet, Toyota United, Nav's etc.) at the U.S Open today in Richmond, Virginia. Svein had to be the one to take a big win in a race where everyone left the thermal jackets and leg warmers on until the very end. Get this guy to Flanders. Svein and Pat McCarty (Slipstream/Chipotle) caught the big guys sleeping and motored away as the peloton shattered behind them. McCarty JUST held on for second.

The Northwest was well represented as Johnny Sundt(Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast) also showed in one of the day's more prominent breaks.

Chad Hartley(BMC) and Evan Elken(Jittery Joe's) both finished in the money, 16th and 21st. Very cool.

The Rising


Easter means an off weekend in OBRA country. But they'll be bangin' bars up at Boat Street again. The race has been renamed in honor of Brad Lewis who tragically died of a heart attack during last year's race. The Brad Lewis Memorial Crit will feature the best in the NW slugging it out for $2000 in prizes (that number might be for all categories though, check on that before you drive 6 hours).

I'm sure Kenny(First Rate Mortgage) will be there, Rob Campbell(Bob's Bicycles.com), Russell Stevenson(Benaroya Research Institute), an army of Hagens-Berman guys, maybe Donald and the CMG crew, Rubicon, Axley, Recycled, etc. etc.

Pro's(or ex-pro's) may include David Richter(who is he riding for these days?), Todd Herrriott(now kingpin of Hagens-Berman elite), Tom Peterson(Slipstream/Chipotle) who's been chewing people up with his legs and spitting them out with his wit. Does Doug O.(HealthNet) make the drive for a crit?

So this US Open Tour of Virginia North America World Championship is happening this weekend. It's even on TV (NBC, is it live?). It's getting a ton of hype and is classified UCI 1.1. Sounds cool, weather report calls for rain and snow (budump, pow "thank you folks and make sure to tip your bartenders on your way out, you've been a great crowd.").

Some locals made the start list: Evan Elken(Jittery Joe's), Omer Kem(Prioriy Health/Bissell), Ryan Trebon(Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada), and Johnny Sundt(Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast) are all there.

PIR startd this week, an old guy won the first one. Brad Gebhard outsprinted Evan Elken for the win. He must pack quite a punch.

Jacob Rathe(Beaverton Bicycle Club) tested his mettle in the 1/2/3 field.

Adam Curry(Hagens-Berman) finally washed ashore. No word on his condition, but he's back on the HB elite team.

Rubicon will be at Sea Otter next weekend, I'll be at TST, everyone else will be at King's Valley. There should be plenty of juicy gossip after all that. Send me a note if you see something funny happen (and it doesn't necessarily have to be HAHA funny, if you know what I mean).

I can't make this "penniless, suffering, pirate ride" on Saturday, but think it's as good a way as any to celebrate the arrival of Flanders. Send me a race report and I'll do my part to make the winner as big as Boonen.

Predictions:
Ronde van Vlaanderan: What Bettini wants, Bettini gets. Boonen can be a damn fine teammate.
US Open: Matty Rice(Jelly Belly), because it's no fun to just pick Toyota United all the time. Let's say TU and HealthNet mark each other out of the win.
Boat Street: Rubicon is going fast, Kenny's got the experience.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mid-Week

So I took the poll down. It was making the page load really slow. King's Valley was the overwhelming winner. It's a great course, close and Goldstein does a great job year after year. TST is a beautiful race that everyone should make the trip for sometime or another. Omer Kem(Priority Health/Bissell) dropped a comment echoing my sentiments about Sea Otter. Just a couple of years ago (the last time probably being when Doug won it) it was THE stage race on the west coast. Right time of year, huge fields, beautiful location. Now, well it's PIR. A 2 hour circuit race around a car track. Not quite worth the trip. Rubicon will probably be there, Tuckerman had a good ride in Monterey last year.

Kent Johnston (Fred Meyer/Lakeside Bikes) made his return to racing at Icebreaker. He just had to remind everyone on proper leg-lubing technique. His Cat. 3 protegé Carson Miller is obviously following the big guy's example.

There was a bit of hubbub on the OBRA list about a topic I brought up a couple of weeks ago, the whole OBRA USCF thing. After talking to some folks, I realized that OBRA is about the best organization ever. They keep racing cheap and accessible, that is no small feat. Stuff like insurance and permits get more and more expensive each year. OBRA somehow manages these expenses and is able to keep membership and race fees ridiculously low ($20-25). That is very cool.

USCF (or is it USAC?) is a bit more convoluted as an organization. It's more expensive($60/year), and gives less support to race organizers (that's the impression I get), which makes races more expensive. If you race out of state often, you'll need USCF. If you stick to OBRA racing, be thankful that there is such a strong organization keeping your races cheap and easy.

If you're just dying to see how you stack up in the national amateur rankings, well, you have way too much time on your hands. Nobody cares if you pass up some kid from Hoboken, NJ for 283rd on the amateur rankings list.

BOOYAH!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

A poll.

As suggested, I am trying a poll. Mostly just to see how it works. Don't cheat. Both these races are great, it's too bad they're on the same day. If you don't race on this weekend (April 14-15), you don't race at all.

Don't forget that at King's Valley you get to play the "pick an obscure mid-80's Classics winner" Trivia Game, and then Scott Goldstein acts all dumbfounded that nobody knows the winner of Gent-Wevelgem 1986.

TST will either be the most beautiful race you'll ever do or the worst conditions you've ever ridden in, ever. But it's not a circuit race!!!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Kiwis have landed.

So I show up for the Icebreaker Crit and there's like a whole team of Rubicon guys millin' about. Well, they're here: Dan Harm, the Kiwis (Tuckerman, Richard, some newer faces), Kirk Carlson. They're also smokin' fit. Basically, the race started out with a bunch of the usual Oregon guys (Hutch's-OIC, Hagens-Berman, Therapeutic Associates, CMG) dickin' around trying to sort out a break. Well the Rubicon guys took the opportunity to counter some of the half-hearted attacks and ended up with a couple guys up the road. Then they put in some strong attacks on the (very windy) backside of the course. They ended up with a four-up all Rubicon breakaway and smoked it. Game over.

Back in the pack there was some disorganized chasing and some not-so-passive blocking on the part of Richard(Rubicon).
Words were exchanged.
With about 8 laps to go Richard was looking at butts or something and totally crossed wheels with a teammate (I think Harm) and hit the deck. Steven Beardsley(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) ran him over and also wrecked. It didn't really affect(or would it be effect) the race, but it was probably the most entertaining part.

The Rubicon guys were (mostly) on the new Orbeas, which are freaky-deaky Jetsons looking.

Cue up PoC.
Well, this is an interesting race. Totally flat, windy, decent weather and an interesting field from both Oregon and Washington. Top that all off with what is probably the best payout of any OBRA race (if you have a better one, send me a heads up, we'll all totally be there).

CMG/Alpine Mortgage, Therapeutic Associates, First Rate Mortgage, Hagens-Berman, Rubicon ,Team S+M etc. etc. were all represented as well as Doug Ollerenshaw(HealthNet) and Evan Elken(Jittery Joe's). Zach Winter was conspicious in his abscence (though it's not really his course).

Racing was a bit of a clusterf-ck as the winds played havoc with breakaways. Nobody seemed too committed to battling that long straight stretch into the wind (except Evan, who was working it all day long). Finally, on the third lap a group of Doug(Healthnet), Aaron Tuckerman(Rubicon), and a guy from First Rate Mortgage (whose name I can't remember, but will add as soon as results get posted). And they were off. It was a big-ish payday and Doug seemed a bit more committted to it than he was at races like Banana Belt.

A good size chase ensued but never really got a full head of steam. CMG had everyone on the front, Bike Gallery was there, Joe from Hagens-Berman was there when he wasn't back in the pack running his mouth about getting other teams on the front. Evan played coach and kept it all tight, as well as doing a couple guys worth of work.

Anyways, Doug took the win. The First Rate guy was second, and Aaron dropped off somwhere near the finish and got third. The sprint was a big-balls contest to see who could go into the final corner the hottest. Evan has the biggest balls and easily took the bunch sprint. Kenny "CR" Williams(First Rate Mortgage) was hot on his heels for fifth.

Inside 3k Kirk(Rubicon) got the DQ for centerline. It did get a little dicey (duh, it's a bunch sprint), but everyone stayed upright.

So, fear the Rubicon they are wicked-fast. And get ready for the next big decision in the Northwest cycling world: King's Valley or TST? They are probably my two favorite races on the calendar (at least single-days), can't you guys keep them at least a day apart?

Nobody goes to Sea Otter anymore, right? Since it switched from a stage race to 2hrs. of NASCAR on bikes.

Carl Hoefer used to ride for Rubicon (like a couple weeks ago), but has found a new home at Therapeutic Associates.

Anyhoo, you've got two weeks until the year's best racing weekend, get fast.

Oh yeah, send me pictures from the races. And anything else you shouldn't tell people but totally want to.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind


Two up this weekend. Saturday sees Nick Skenzick and the Hutch's-OIC guys defend the course they've dominated for the past several years. You know the game, West-Eugene Technology Park: flat, windy, someone will lap the field, there will be a bunch of Eugene guys who only show on this course (and usually only on Tuesday nights). It's the Ice Breaker Crit. Who's gonna spoil Hutch's party?

Piece of Cake is also here already. Same as Saturday but longer, and windier. The Woodland, WA course seems a little less desolate than the old Halsey course, but not exactly exciting. We'll see how many of Washington's finest make this OBRA sanctioned race. Tour de Dung #3 (WSBA) is the same day. Donald(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) is gonna have those tri-spokes on looking for the win. Rob Campbell(Bob's Bicycles.com) has called his shot in the comments of my last post. It's got a decent payout for an OBRA race ($1000 fifteen deep). Bring it boys, bring it.

Piece of Cake it-list:
Campbell
Donald
a Hutch's guy (Nick or Paul)
Steve Holland (Finnegan's Toys/Discover Chiropractic)
Zach Winter can go big in any race
Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage) - If he shows, this is a great course for him.

Big surprise in the Hagens-Berman camp. Solomon Woras is being beamed back to the mothership. Yep, he's moving back to Washington. It's too bad beacause Oregon isn't exactly overflowing with guys who ride as smart as they do fast, Sol was one of them. No word on the reason for the move. The Hagens-Berman guys will especially miss him, they haven't exactly packed the punch that they're known for. Losing Solomon spreads the Oregon squad pretty thin.

Kyle Valenta was added to the CMG/AlpineMortgage squad with little fanfare. He had some results this year, look no further than a close second to Jamie Strangeland(Wines of Washington) at last week's Independence valley RR. Any more team news out there?

Just a couple of crits on the NRC schedule this weekend, expect to see some fast guys out and about.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Border Clash!


It may have been an off weekend in Oregon, but the conveniently located Independence Valley RR provided a veritable who's who of NW racing. By all accounts, the course was beautiful and the weather terrible (sounds about right for Olympia!). A three-up breakaway dominated the day as perennial Washington fast guy Jamie Strangeland(Wines of Washington) took the win. The CMG/Alpine Mortgage guys were in attendance and new member Kyle Valenta took second (his name rings a bell and I know he rides track, otherwise ???, he used to ride for HUP United?????). Hagens-Berman's Richard McClung got third after flatting out of the breakaway.

Oooooooh!!! Snaaaap!
Rob Campbell(Bob's Bicycles.com) took the sprint for fifth over Donald Reeb(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) and Kenny Williams(First Rate Mortgage). Rob needed to win the sprint to show off the new Bob'sBicycles.com kits that finally arrived.






Other riders in attendance:
-Russell Stevenson(Benaroya Research Institute), who's apparently back in Seattle
-Zach Winter(Zach Winter Factory Team), making like post-Genesis Phil Collins
-Dan-do a ton of-Harm(Rubicon), figured he'd be at Redlands
-Steve Holland(Finnegan's Toys/Discover Chiropractic), so Rich McClung doesn't feel too old
and a bunch of guys that race in Washington and are all special in their own way.


The race sounds like a very cool one and is just an hour north of Portland. I hope we see more races in this area, bringing together the Oregon and Washington guys is always good fun. (plug Piece of Cake RR, April 1, here.)

Sounds like Zach W had a pretty bad day. He seems content to be okay going it alone, but don't be surprised if he shows up in a new jersey soon (BRI?, Hutch's-OIC????, ??????????).

Mike Hone was there and took a ton of pictures, they're all up on Flickr, hope he doesn't mind that I'm using some here.

Erik Tonkin won the first MTB race of the year, surprising exactly nobody. There's a few roadies hiding out in that results list.

Redlands happened over the weekend, some NW names in the mix: Omer Kem & Morgan Schmitt(Priority Helath), Doug Ollerenshaw(HealthNet), Evan Elken(Jittery Joe's), the Hagens-Berman Elite team (which is mostly NW guys). 190 rider field (with time cuts strictly enforced, Toyota-United Pro's uber-fastguy Ivan Dominguez got time cut by :30 in the sprint points jersey!) Andy Bajadali gave Jelly Belly a huge win.

Get your sprint legs warmed up! The Icebreaker Crit. Hutch's-OIC will be there defending their turf. Who's gonna challenge?

The Final Four is turning out to be just as predictable as Milan-San Remo. Other riders (like Boonen and Pettachi) talk about Oscar Freire(Rabobank) with the sense of awe reserved for a guy named Armstrong. Cipollini says he has an "extra leg" in the sprint. Pettachi finished with a suck and a blow, being beaten Eric Zabel, his leadout man. Italians were nowhere to be seen.

The Ducks went down shooting. Good run, I bet they could have taken any team except Florida.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An off weekend in OBRA-land

After a month of solid racing, we get to take a breather this weekend. There is the Independence Valley RR near Olympia for those of you that just can't get enough. You do have to have your USA Cycling to race in Washington this year (at least for 1/2's), but it's only $60 this year instead of like $130 last year (or was that UCI membership that was really expensive?). Maybe OBRA should start requiring the USAC membership, anyone know the major pros and cons (except the cost)? You're gonna need it for TST.

Word on the street is that Zach Winter is flying solo. It might be the best situation for him. Any teams been talking? I'll bet Russell Cree would love to have that set of legs in the Hagens-Berman camp, he's a stickler for attitude though. He could give Therapeutic Associates the bump they need to be a top team. Who wouldn't love to see him show up in a Hutch's-OIC kit, that would be rich.

Ooooooh, here's an Idea, Benaroya Research Institute. If Stevenson's still in Portland, they would make a great match. If Russell's racing career is on the wane, he could help Zach manage the megalomania and get some top results. They have very similar strengths on the bike and a bit of orneriness to boot. Man, I should be a Director Sportif.

Apparently Jacob Rathe(Beaverton Bicycle Club) is racing sparingly in the 3's as to not be forced to upgrade before he is ready. This is probably smart, he has a lot he can still accomplish as a junior.


Here's another kid that's tearin' up the 3's with junior gears. Jordan Campbell(Hagens-Berman) up in Washington. I think he's 15. Photo by Mike Hone.

Is Hagens-Berman going to end up with Jacob(BBC), Jordan(HB), Ian Bosworth(HB) and Carson Miller(Fred Meyer) on the same team (RC shaking head "yes"). There's a northwest based pro squad in the making.

Oh yeah, this is all speculation. Maybe it'll get some gears grinding. I should be a DS.

Nothing says springtime like grown Italian men crying like babies as they cross the line. Got a Milan-San Remo pick? I'll go with Davide Rebellin. He showed the form at Paris-Nice and can win classics. Bettini hit the deck three times last week (rainbow jerseys are VERY heavy). Pettachi seems to be coming on slowly and Boonen's not allowed to win because he's not Italian.

Time to get a few more endurance miles in and watch some basketball. USC beat Texas, WTF? Then Durant said he should have played harder, oh well Pac-10's lookin' strong. Can Georgetown take down Psycho-T (worst knickname of all time) and UNC in an old-school Elite-8 showdown?

Go Ducks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

*****Trouble in Paradise*****

It seems the rumors of discontent in the CMG/Alpine Mortgage camp were true. One day after finally delivering a legit win, Zach Winter was cut from the team. It seems the two DQ's in the first three races may have ruffled some feathers, or maybe his big win took away from teammates who might themelves be looking for that big win. Check out Oregon Velo for more cool pics like this one.


Either way, Zach was the first rider across the line in the last two OBRA races. While his ability to ride like he does may shut down other parts of his brain, the strongest guy in the past two races was just kicked off of his team. WTF?

I'm sure there are plenty of teams that would love to have a rider of his caliber in their jersey, but Zach's all-or-nothing tendencies continue to make team life difficult.

It seems first and third in the last race and one-two in the overall would heal all wounds.

Anyone able to give Zach a new home. How about Hutch's-OIC?
That would be sweet.

If Zach's able to keep racing, watch out.
ZW vs. CMG 2k7.
For all the marbles.

Let's get it on!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Three's a Charm

Well, after all the hubbub of last week's results, Zach Winter(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) finally takes one fair and square. Zach thwarted the bunch sprint with an attack just before the dam and stayed away with Chris Hamilton(Casa-Bruno/Adidas) who didn't challenge the two-up sprint. My only question, where's the chase? Hutch's-OIC, Therapeutic associates, Team S+M and Bike Gallery all had quite a bit to gain from bringing those two back, but nobody stepped up.

With nobody taking control of il ultimo chilometro, Donald Reeb(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) easily took the bunch sprint. Nick Skenzick(Hutch's-OIC) had enough kick to come from 20th to 2nd(4th overall) in the final 50 meters. If he's got that much kick shouldn't you guys be helping him go from 5th to 1st? And maybe bring back the break so he has a chance at the win?

The fact that it was also Oregon Cup Race #1 might have confused the tactics also. Were we starting or finishing a series? So the points go top-20 for BB results and bottom-20 in reverse order for riders riding wheelies across the finish for Oregon Cup points, right? DQ's get double points just to keep 'em coming back.

The racing started early, as Donald Reeb (CMG/Alpine Mortgage), Doug Ollerenshaw (HealthNet), and Matt Braun (Team S+M) formed a break on the first lap and stayed away for about 50 of the 77 miles. Oregon Velo was there to get pics of the early going. The peloton chased some but it was fairly disorganized. Surprisingly enough, Hutch's-OIC did nothing to defend Paul Bourcier's point total gained after last week's win. While Donald's total might have been out of reach, slipping Paul into a winning break could have seen him take over 2nd, where Zach ended up. Especially given the fact that Seth Hosmer, CMG's preferable #2 and BB1 main man, was not racing (apparently he had to work.)

Unexpectedly, the break did come part around lap 6. Donald would probably tell you he cracked Doug so bad he was asking for his Mama and swearing he'd never race a bike in Oregon again. Doug would probably tell you that he makes his living riding in other bike races and doesn't care to explore the pain cave too deeply at an amateur weekend race series. Anyhoo, their 2.5 minute lead melted away completely as Donald was scooped up at the beginning of the penultimate lap.


The break demonstrating excellent number placement technique.

Bike Gallery had a good showing with Steve Wright leading the charge. Can you guys send me a rundown of who was there? There were a bunch, and you all rode strong.

Jacob Erker from Symmetrics Cycling of scenic British Columbia was in attendance and helping keep the tempo in the bunch up while Doug, Donald and Matt were off ding their thing. I was surprised that he and Tonkin(Team S+M) couldn't get a split for a chase group, no matter how hard they tried.

Steve Holland(Finnegan's Toys/Discover Chiropractic) looks to be coming around.

Mick Walsh(First Rate Mortgage) also stopped by to up the old guy ante? No Kenny though. What gives?

There was some rumblings of discontent in the CMG/Alpine Mortgage camp after the race. I do remember hearing Donald instruct his teammates to keep the race together just minutes before Zach made his final attack. There was also talk that Zach might have been aiding the chase when Doug and Matt returned to the group and Donald was off solo (which probably would have been a sound tactical decision). If these rumblings cause a wave, you will see it here first.

Oh yeah, Mikkel Bossen(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) got bit by the DQ bug for taking off his helmet.

Amber Murray was at the finish to award the most handsome-est rider and haul him back to the Castelli compound for a Saunier-Duval photo shoot. Who'd ya pick Amber?

Special thanks to Amber and ALL the volunteers that made the past threee weeks of racing go so smoothly. And thanks to Shane at Oregon Velo for the pics.

Here's the series points. Figure out where you could have been if you were in better shape.
1 1336 Reeb Donald CMG Racing/Alpine Mortgage 53
2 1337 Winter Zach CMG Racing 38
3 876 Bourcier Paul Hutch's-OIC 24
4 128 Braun Mathew Team S&M/SCR 20
5 101 Hosmer Seth CMG Racing/Alpine Mortgage 16
6 175 Zimbleman Dave 15
7 884 Hamilton chris 13
8 152 Valenta Kyle Hup United 12
9 107 Fischer Andrew Hagens Berman 11
10 149 Buchholz Brant Therapeutic Associates 11
11 166 Oliphant Duncan therapeutic associates 10
12 112 Oliphant David Therapeutic Associates 10
13 114 Skenick Nick Hutch's-OIC 8
14 872 Leonard John Casa Bruno 7
15 132 Ollerenshaw Doug Health Net/Maxxis 6

P.S. Is Russell Stevenson still in the house? He was living in Portland last year, anyone got the scoop?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

For all the Bananas


One more day at the lake!
The third installment of the Banana Belt should be, by far, the most exciting. After last week, Hutch's-OIC really has something to race for, some savvy racing by them could put Paul Bourcier at or near the top of the points list. As Donald Reeb is the current points leader, I'm sure the CMG/Alpine Mortgage guys are eager to get one in their column after last week.
Hutch's-OIC has had a pretty low profile up until last Sunday.

If nothing else, Paul's "win" makes this Sunday MUCH more interesting.

What is Zach's role on CMG/Alpine Mortgage after the first three races. 2 DQ's. 2 hot spot sprint wins negated because he was wearing his vest (at BB1). He's got the fitness, but will he have the support? Now that's a pig in a poke.

I imagine some pro's will be out and ready to start going fast. This is an off weekend (except for a time trial?) on the NRC calendar. Redlands is next week. Doug Ollerenshaw (HealthNet) and Evan Elken (Jittery Joe's) will really be ready to rip. Are you guys bringing any friends?

I heard a "cha-ching" somewhere in the distance. Word is Kenny Williams (First Rate Mortgage) might be down here looking to clean up some sprints. Anybody remember the last OBRA pro/1/2 race to be decided in a bunch finish? It's been awhile.

If Kenny shows does that mean Rob Campbell and co.(Bob's Bicycles.com) will follow?

Will the Hagens-Berman guys be able to put something together? They're practically pro, right?

The Therapeutic Associates guys have seen the top-10 a couple times, will this be the weekend they race for the win?

Does Zach (CMG/Alpine Mortgage) just go batshit crazy trying to make up for last week?

Hutch's-OIC is going to be all-for-Paul, do they have what it takes?

Will Team S+M/SCR get a break. Talk about inopportune flats. Matt Braun flatted out of the winning break just as Tonkin caught back on to the main group after his blowout.

Predictions, if Evan (Jittery Joe's) shows, he wins. He seems to have more of the killer instinct in the OBRA races than Doug (HealthNet), and can sprint better. Donald (CMG/Alpine Mortgage) would love to seal the deal, and I'm sure Seth will be in there, too. Good weather means a huge field and riders from all over the region.

On another note, I off-handedly mentioned that I was trying to be objective in these reports. Really, I'm trying to be entertaining, objectivity is pretty far down on the list. Actually, it wasn't even on it.
But I added it.
In pencil.
Most of what I write is based on e-mails (which can be sent through the link to your right) and the comments on the site (some of them). And, most of all, what I see and hear at the race. If you think your self/team/friend/dog/sister has been misrepresented, drop me an e-mail. I would love to help clear it up.

The real story of the weekend is the NCAA tournament kickoff. Final Fours anyone?
I've got Florida(safe), UCLA(eehhh?), Texas(trendy), and Ohio State(Greg Oden's really a 35 year-old who's been playing prison ball for the past 15 years.).

I hope you're all out there riding slower than me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

2 Takes

So I heard from a couple different people regarding the 1/2 finish, hopefully this does their versions of the story justice.

Zach's(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) take: He started the race with one bottle, assuming a feed would be available. After he took the last hot spot by a healthy margin, Zach sat up and asked the officials if he could take a feed. They told him he could so he just asked if anyone had a bottle he could borrow. A nice lady watching at the finish ran up and handed him a bottle from the left side of the road. He didn't know her, she did it on her own volition, it wasn't a teammate or planned deal, she was just being nice to this guy who had been off the front for half a race and needed a drink.

OBRA Official's take: Basically that 1/2's should know better under the circumstances and that there was a chance to make an example. Paul(Hutch's-OIC) was apparently "livid" crossing the line saying that the feed was one of many violations committed by Zach throughout the race.

I did get the impression that Zach might have a bit of a target on his back regarding this sort of behavior.

The break: It sounds like the break went like any other break in a bike race. Paul and Zimbleman(Z Team) needed Zach just as much as he needed them. I'm guessing they gave him the sprints because there was no use contesting them, why go for them when chances are that Zach will win them either way, might as well save it for the end.

The break must have worked okay together for the most part because it was not ideal for any team. CMG/Alpine Mortgage probably would have rather had at least two guys in the break(Donald was active in forming a chase group but couldn't get the split), the Team S+M/SCR guys were putting up quite a fight, despite their bad luck with flats. They stayed away for three laps, I'm guessing they worked together pretty well.

As for the last lap, well duh, they were all trying to win. Zach probably saved it up for a bit and then gave it a go. If the other two guys could have hung they would have. I'm guessing they weren't shocked when he attacked.

I hope all this doesn't sound like I'm coming down on the OBRA officials. I'm just trying to objectively look at what happened in a dramatic race (let's face it, any break involving Zach and Paul is going to have some entertainment value). I just hope they apply the rules consistently throughout the year when similar situations arise. All OBRA officials and volunteers deserve a big thanks and a ton of credit.

As for comments, I am only sort of surprised that people will go through the whole registration process just to leave one obscene sentence on my goofy little blog. I'm not going to moderate them because it puts me in a place where I have to justify why I leave some comments up while erasing others. There's been more than a few comments that I don't think are appropriate, but I don't know if there's a solution. I think comments are what make blogs interesting, obviously there's a downside.