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.