Mt Hood Cycling Classic Report: “The Only Luck is Bad Luck”

Posted on June 6, 2011

This past weekend Ben and Tym headed out to the other side of the mountain to race the Mt Hood Cycling Classic.  They were looking forward to 3 days of racing 4 challenging courses.

STAGE 1 – Columbia Hills RR

This race was 52 miles consisted of a loop from The Dalles out to Mosier up Rowena Crest and back down it, then out to Mosier by way of a road called 7 Mile Hill and back down Rowena Crest to the Dalles.  The peloton stayed mostly together, with a small break going up the road at some point before the first descent of Rowena Crest – with Ben leading the chase in the peloton behind.  As we came through the feed zone on 7 Mile Hill we started to pick up the now fracturing break.  Suddenly the peloton split apart. Tym rode up through the splinting group to the lead group of 4 other riders as they twisted up through the turns of the climb. On the descent some confusion about who was chasing lead the lead group to be caught by more folks, and by the time they were in Mosier the group had grown to about 17 or so riders. Things started to slow up the climb and there was bickering in the group so Tym attacked, nobody followed. He went up over Rowena Crest by himself but was caught as the descent began, and was quickly spit out the back of the now racing group. At the bottom of the descent the follow cars passed Tym, but this gave him the motivation he needed to ride back onto the tail end of the group, riding with them to the finish, over a minute ahead of the next finishers. Ben had felt unwell on 7 Mile as everything came apart, and rode by himself to the finish.

Results:  Tym – 13th;  Ben – 49th

Stage 2 & 3: Trout Lake TT and Hood River Crit

The TT was a challenging loop consisting or over 10 miles of mostly gentle rollers with the last 4 miles being almost entirely a false flat. Tym managed to defend and move up in the GC.

Results: Tym -15th; Ben – 52nd

GC after Stage 2: Tym – 11th; Ben – 50th

The crit was also a challenging course, starting on a slight uphill it then took some tight turns downhill before going back up again. Not much chance to recover anywhere. Luckily we stayed out of the nights crashes and finished same time as the group.

Results: Tym – 20th; Ben – 45th

GC after Stage 3:  Tym – 11th; Ben – 49th

Stage 4: Three Peaks

This was the penultimate stage we had been looking forward to all weekend, and where everything went wrong for our GC hopes. Over 70 miles with 3 major climbs. After a long descent from the Cooper Spur Resort, there was a break up the road at one minute and thirty seconds. After some confusion with the lead car on direction, the peloton made its turn onto Lost Lake RD to head into the National Forest. On the first minor climb on Lost Lake, Tym got a small gap on the peloton and decided to break from the initial plan when he saw the break not too far ahead of him. He continued to ride and caught the break as they started onto Forest Road 13. As the climb got steep he left the break behind riding solo over the first KOM and took welcome refreshment from the Feed Zone. Behind him Ben stayed with the leaders as they gobbled up the remnants of the breakaway. Tym descended like a madman down Lost Lake Rd but couldn’t hold off the charging group behind him, getting caught towards the bottom of the descent. We hung with the now narrowed front group of riders as they began the second major climb of the day. Bad luck struck 1k from the second KOM when Tym shifted to make a move and heard the unfortunately sounds of a rear derailleur shifting all the way down to the hardest gear. A follow car stopped, but it was a broken derailleur cable. Nothing really could be done. Ben stopped too, sacrificing his hopes of finishing with the front group to try to help Tym out, but with different pedal systems they couldn’t trade bikes. Tym hung his bike up on Wheel Car 1 and watched the race unfold in front of him. Ben continued the good fight and finished, but for some reason has not been listed as a finisher.

It was a fun race, and we had some unfortunate luck. But we’re excited to race it again next year!

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