This past weekend I decided to add another short stage race to the calendar...the High Desert Omnium. This is a local race that offers a Crit, TT, and Road Race. The stages are relatively short but are held on similar courses as the Cascade Cycling Classic race, so I thought it would be a good tuner for that race; which will be in 2 weeks.
The weekend kicked off with the Crit on Sat afternoon. A field of about 35-40 riders toed the start line for the 50 min. race that included a safe course with only 4 corners. I got into a break after 20 min. with a few other riders and we were chasing down an earlier break of 2 lead riders. Everyone in the break was working equally hard, but we weren't able to pull back the two lead riders. Crit races are great training for mountain biking because of the all-out efforts and at times technical courses. I jumped (ie: attacked) with 1 lap to go trying to break free of the other riders in the break, but was quickly pulled back. Then with half a lap to go Stallings jumped. It came down to a sprint for 3rd place but I don't have much of a sprint, so I rolled across the line in 8th.
Two hours later was my TT start. This was held on Skyliners Rd which is a favorite road for TT's and the same course for the CCC, just a bit shorter. The length was only 9 miles (4.5 miles out and back) with half being a climb and the other half being all downhill. I am definitely not a TT specialist. I don't have any TT gear, don't have a TT bike, nor do I practice them either. I still have yet to figure out how hard to go from the start. I used to completely blow up immediately after racing my HR up to it's max within minutes, but now I have learned to slowly work it up but I'm not sure if that is the best either. I finished the 9 miles in a time of 21:03, 1 1/2 min behind the winner Carson Miller.
On Sun, the road race was held near the Cascade Lakes up around Mt. Bachelor with temps hovering near 90 degrees. The course was a 60 mile loop. Nearly 50 riders were ready in the Pro/1/2 field to battle the heat. Nothing exciting for the first 7 miles, but then around mile 8-10 there was a crash that took out nearly 8 riders. Not sure what happened because at that point the peloton was creeping along at a slow speed. Soon after that a couple riders attacked and I went with them. I wanted to ride hard today and get into a break, and I was able to get in with a solid 10 man break that included some strong riders (Sheppard, Boswell, Miller, Boone). We opened up a 1.5 min gap by mile 20 and slowly continued to open the gap as the race progressed. At mile 42, Boswell attacked on a climb and only Sheppard had the acceleration to go with him. I was now working with 5 other riders to try and pull back those two riders. We caught Sheppard with 1K to go and it came down to a 5 man sprint. Again my legs didn't have the power to sprint and I ended up 5th in the sprint and 6th overall. We covered the 60 miles in 2:10.
It's great to see how strong Ian Boswell is riding. He is a local boy who has huge potential, and currently rides for Bissell Pro Cycling team. He has had a successful season that includes a win at the Nevada City Classic race in June and several top finishes over in Europe. Will his team work to get him a win at the Cascade Cycling Classic...we'll have to wait and see. To learn more about Ian Boswell, visit his website.