I may have mentioned previously that Seth Hosmer of CMG/Alpine Mortgage has been riding a bicycle fairly quickly, this trend continued Sunday, March 4, at Banana Belt numero uno. It did not appear that any riders in the 1/2 field possessed the wherewithall to compete with the illustrious Mr. Hosmer. Doug O. might be at that level, but appeared to be riding well within his limits as, alas, he may have bigger fish to fry. I suggest that as a 1/2 field we all pitch in to pay for Mr. Hosmer's airfare to next weekend's Central Valley Classic where his competition will be paid to suffer like dogs as they chase him around. It may be the only hope we have.
It's just all CMG this week, they also rolled out brand new kits. Less Candyland, more Green Lantern. Works for me.
Anyhoo, the race to end all early season Oregon races went down as expected with unexpectedly decent weather to boot. The good ol' 1/2 field split up early, I guess the front group of about 15 got off near the beginning of the second lap. CMG/Alpine Mortgage had like 6 guys in the break, Hagens-Berman managed four by the time Solomon bridged up, the rest looked to be freelancers.
The 1/2's were on their best behavior. I saw one minor, and totally accidental, scrape. Otherwise, I don't think I've ever been around a group of such well behaved Cat. 1/2's. Maybe we've lost our edge.
Most of the action out of the break was provided by Mr. Zach Winter(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) who appeared hell-bent on finding a couple of hardy souls to breakaway from the large-ish front group. While the writing is clearly on the wall regarding Mr. Hosmer's fitness, Zach seems to be just as determined (if not just as fit, yet) to put a notch in his own belt. Seth finally flew the coop towards the end of the 4th lap, Hagens-Berman wasn't able to mount a particularly inspired chase and the solo artists didn't seem to be to interested in the idea of pulling around the rest of the CMG squad so Donald could take the bunch sprint. And there it was, Seth Hosmer solo, and it might not be the last time. Donald baaaarrrrrely outkicked Andy Fischer(Hagens-Berman) for 2nd, then Brant Bucholz(Therapeutic Associates), and Zach. 3 out of 5 ain't bad. Candi Murray sent me the sweet finish line shots (Check out Donald giving Andy the business as he gets it by 1/2 a wheel).
I think Zach also took tops in both of the hot spots. He may be in the driver's seat for the whole Banana, if you know what I mean.
In the main pack Nick Skenzick took the bunch sprint, which may foreshadow Hutch's-OIC strategy if one of these things manages to stay together until the end. Nick usually ends up pretty fit by summer crit season, but perhaps he has found new legs for the spring campaign. He beat out some fairly fast finishers in Aaron Sander (Half Fast), and Steve Holland (Finnegan's Toys-Discover Chiropractic) in what was actually a pretty hot sprint for 13th.
Mr. Steve Holland also appeared atop a shiny new carbon fiber Felt bicycle. Whatever you do Steve, you cannot get rid of the red and yellow Cannondale. That thing is legendary. I'm sure someone, somewhere can incorporate it into some sort of monument. That thing's living history, man.
Speaking of bikes, Matt Braun's(Team S&M/SCR) been rolling around on a FULL CARBON KONA ROAD FRAME!!! And it looks sharp.
Carl Hoefer showed up in Non-Rubicon threads, yet still has Team Rubicon listed as his home. Is there a shake-up in the works? Speaking of our fair lads in orange, where are the guys? The kiwis probably won't roll in for another few weeks but what about the others? Dean? Kirk? Anyone? Is Dan Harm ever going to show up in Oregon? I bet he could hang with Hosmer.
I saw a bit of Jacob Rathe's (Beaverton Bicycle Club) race. That kid is a killer. He has got a bright future ahead of him. Check out his last year results here. Now add a big pile of National Championships, add in that he's like 16, and then watch him on a bike. It's impressive. I want to see what he can do to a Cat. 3 field (or does he race 1/2 when he gets his driver's license). Here he is crossing the line like he's done it before.
Speaking of guys that were really fast when they were 16, (former) northwest resident Tyler Farrar top-10'd Kuurne-Bruxells-Kuurne. That's spitting distance of a guy named Boonen.
Thanks so much to Candi for the pics, and Candi and all the other volunteers who made for a great day at the lake.