Riders from all over the country are beginning to flock to Bend this week in preparation of the Masters National Championships. All disciplines (TT, Crit, and RR) will be offered with each category in increments of 4 years; ie: 30-34, 35-39, etc.
I have decided to only compete in the Road Race with the hopes of a podium finish. With the 40-44 age category only covering a distance of 54 miles, it will surely be a tough task for anyone to attack and stay away. There are no significant climbs on the course, just lots of rollers with alot of flat sections. The wind can always be a factor, as can the final 1-mile run in to the finish. It's a bit of a twisty, roller section that includes 2 round-abouts, so positioning will be critical upon approaching the final mile. Having the legs to finish things off with a good sprint will most likely be the deciding factor.
The action gets underway on Thursday with the Skyliner TT. There are a few local favorites hoping to take home top honors; including Scott Gray and Andrew Boone (30-34), Mike Larsen (40-44), and Eric Martin (45-49). The 40-44 road race will happen on Sunday morning; this is by far the largest field of riders with a total of 115 riders.
The weather the past week was very smoky due to several fires up north. Going out to exercise was a little difficult and hard on the lungs. It seems to be improving but there is still some smoke lingering. Temperatures have dropped significantly and are currently in the 70's (believe it or not the low's at night are in the 30's). This weekend however, they are supposed to rise again back up to the high 80's. Typical Bend weather, you just never know...