The new Cherry Pie has come and gone. Man, nooooo tailwind. That hairpin at the north end of the course just killed. As expected, a few pro's showed and dictated the day's main moves. Chad Hartley of the brand-spankin' new BMC team took the win on his fly-ass BMC bike.
As expected CMG was strong, really strong. Seth managed a great second place, outlasting Evan and Seattle fast guy Lang Reynolds for second. CMG has a big team and they are for the most part, very fit. With Donald driving the bus (and looking quite trim himself), they also have some race savvy. It will be interesting to see what happens to their race smarts if Donald fails to show.
There was a guy in CMG colors that I didn't recognize riding like a total ass, not Aaron but the other guy that came in with him. I saw him take a flying lunge into Doug O. among others, as well as continuing to make the race a full-contact sport in what was left of the peloton after BOTH breaks got off.
I don't think the pro's need me to stick up for them, but I do think it's cool that they show for some of these local races, raise the level of racing and offer a few tips on the right way to ride. It's stupid to put their livelihood at risk. It's equally stupid to continue to try and put guys in the ditch when you're racing for 15th and some early season miles.
CMG also had a fleet of shiny new Giant TCR's. Zach Winters was even on one, so you know the riders didn't have to pay for them. Bike'n Hike looks to be their homebase.
The Valley Athletic guys from Olympia showed and are apparently no longer the Valley Athletic guys. Plain blue jerseys and a switch to Giant bikes, they're listed with "Bob's Bicycles.com" as their sponsor. Archibald rode strong.
The Hagens-Berman crew were, for all intents and purposes, not involved in the race. Andy got tangled up with the Donald in the first 5 miles of the race and broke his chain. He then gave his wheel to Donald, who had broken a few spokes in the ordeal. What a nice guy.
Solomon might need a few more weeks before he starts to come around.
Sal Collura's bike no longer matches his kit. Never thought I'd see the day, but it looks like First Rate Mortgage is his new crew. I believe he's in Portland now, is FRM also expanding their operation southward? I'd seen a few more guys around the Portland races last year. Will Dan and Billy build you a red and blue one?
Speaking of Billy Truelove, how much of him will we see this year?
Thanks to the new promoters, race and course were very cool. As always send me your gossip. I'll be updating this again when I have a little more time later this week.
Oh yeah, Omer Kem 160k off the front. That one's gonna hurt. Great ride.