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.