Hall, Bush win Cascade criterium
BEND — Chipotle Development Team’s Rob Bush took the win Saturday night at the stage 4 Downtown Criterium of the Cascade Cycling Classic by joining a six-rider break group that lapped the field and then crossing the line in front of his former breakaway companions during a frenetic field sprint won by Carlos Azalte (Team Exergy). In the women’s race, Lauren Hall (Colvatia/Forno d’Asolo) made it into a successful seven-rider breakaway and then chased down a solo attack to take the win in front of a large and boisterous Bend crowd.
The men’s race was fast and furious from the starting gun, with immediate escape attempts by riders who tried it solo and in groups of two or three, but it was the jump by Bush, Jamis Sutter Home’s Luis Amaran and Pure Black Racing’s Mike Northey that eventually found success about 25 minutes into the race. The lead trio was soon joined by another group of three, this time containing Jacob Rathe (Chipotle Development Team), Andy Jaques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) and Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Jesse Anthony.
The six escapees formed an immediate bond and started working smoothly together, slowly building their advantage until they could see the field on the long straightaways of the elongated rectangular course. With Amaran the highest placed GC rider in the group at 2:39 behind overall leader Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com), the Spaniard’s team hit the front of the race and tried in vain to close down the leaders’ advantage and bring things back together.
“We definitely didn’t want to bring Amaran back into play for the overall,” said Realcyclist.com director Gord Fraser.
V Australia soon joined in the chase, but that team’s efforts also didn’t pan out, as they hit the front too hard too fast and ran out of gas too soon. Team Exergy, which had the green jersey of Carlos Alzate to protect as the breakaway riders gobbled up sprint points, was noticeably absent from the front of the chase.
The dynamics paid off for the breakaway, which steadily added to it’s advantage until the inevitable lapping of the field occurred with about 15 minutes to go. The six breakaway riders, assured of at least a top six spot no matter where they finished in the field, started working their way back toward the front in hopes of finishing ahead of the others to take the win. Pure Black lined up to move Northey forward as the other teams tried the same thing with their riders. But getting to the front of a field of 150 riders averaging 50 kilometers per hour was a daunting task.
“You get back to the end of the field and the front of the race is half a mile away,” Rathe said after the race.
As Bush, Rathe, Amaran, Anthony, Jaques-Maynes and Northey worked their way toward the front and looked for the whereabouts of the other riders who had lapped the field, it became clear the winner would likely finish mid-pack. But the fact that the top-six spots had already been established and the others were racing for seventh did little slow the pace or settle things down.
The field rounded the last corner intact and began a gutter-to gutter drag race for the line, where Alzate squeezed out the field sprint for seventh in front of Rickie Escuela (Full Circle Racing) and Joe Lewis (Trek-Livestrong). The race for the actual stage win came down to the mid-pack sprint, with Bush grabbing the win in front of Anthony and Amaran. Mike Northey got fourth and Jaques-Maynes was fifth. Rathe flatted in the last corner of the last lap and coasted in for sixth, the top Oregon rider on the stage.
Bush also collected enough sprint points while he was in the breakaway to grab the green jersey from Alzate.
The very top of the general classification remain unchanged, with Mancebo leading teammate Cesar Grajales by 40 seconds and Bissell’s Jeremy Vennell by 54. Amaran moved from 15th to fourth overall, one minute down on Mancebo. None of the other breakaway riders broke into the top 10 overall. Ian Boswell remains Oregon’s top overall rider in 14th, 2:17 behind the leaders after finishing safely in the bunch.
Hall out sprints breakaway for women’s win
The successful breakaway in the women’s race came about a half hour into the 50-minute race. Hall was joined by teammate Kristin Sanders, Meredith Miller (Tibco-To the Top), Pascale Schneinder (Vanderkitten/Focus), Anne Samplonius (Now and Novartis for MS), Taylor Wiles (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty-12) and Kristin Lasasso (Primal/Map My Ride).
The escapees built an advantage of up to 25 seconds before Peanut Butter & Co. sent the entire team to the front to close down the gap and preserve the GC placings of third- and fourth-placed riders Kristin McGRath and Kristin Armstrong.
The effort began to pay off the the leader’s gap dropped from 25 seconds to 16 over the closing laps, but it came a little too late to pull them all the way back. With a small advantage going into the final circuit of the course, Samplonius attacked hard and got a slight advantage that she held all the way to the final straightaway.
In the chase behind, Sanders buried herself on the front while her teammate Hall sat third wheel coming out of the final corner. Hall jumped hard over the long straightaway, coming around miller and then overtaking Samplonius with enough time to salute the win. Miller hung on for second, while Samplonius grabbed third. Schneinder crossed the line fourth, followed by Wiles, Lasasso and Sanders, who coasted in 13 seconds after the leaders, also saluting her teammate’s win. Race leader Clara Hughes won the field sprint for eight 15 seconds after Hall finished. Brenna Lopez-Otero (BMC Total Care) was Oregon’s best finisher on the stage, coming in with the group for 13th place.
The women’s general classification remains unchanged, with Hughes leading Erinne Willock (Tibco-To the Top) by 13 seconds, Kristin McGrath by 19 and Kristin Armstrong by 20. Jade Wilcoxson (Now and Novartis for MS), Oregon’s highest-placed rider, remains ninth overall after finishing 13th in the criterium.
Cascade Cycling Classic
Stage 4 Downtown Criterium
1. Rob Bush (Chipotle Development Team) 1:16:01
2. Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies) s.t.
3. Luis Amaran (Jamis Sutter Home) s.t.
4. Mike Northey (Pure Black Racing) s.t.
5. Andy Jaques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling)
1. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com) 7:40:35
2. Cesar Grajales (Realcyclist.com) @:40
3. Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) @:54
4. Luis Amaran (Janis Sutter Home) @1:00
4. Tom Zirbel (Jamis Sutter Home) @1:14
1. Lauren Hall (Colvatia/Forno d’Asolo) 51:42
2. Meredith Miller (Tibco-To the Top) s.t.
3. Anne Samplonius (Now and Novartis for MS) s.t.
4. Pascale Schneinder (Vanderkitten/Focus) s.t.
5. Taylor Wiles (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty-12) s.t.
1. Clara Hughes (Cycling BC) 7:54:45
2. Erinne Willock (Tibco-To the Top) @:13
3. Kristin McGrath (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty-12) @:19
4. Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty-12) @:20
5. Tara Whitten (Tibco-To the Top) @:28
Oregon Men Stage 4 Criterium
*6. Jacob Rathe (Chipotle Development Team) @:36 *Top Oregon rider
37. Scott Gray (Team Oregon/Laurelwood Brewing) @1:35
49. Ian Boswell (Trek-Livestrong) @1:35
55. Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt) @1:35
65. Andrew Boone (Team Oregon/Laurelwood Brewing) @1:35
93. Carson Miller (Jelly Belly) @1:35
97. Stephen Mull (Team Oregon/Laurelwood Brewing) @1:35
142. Josh Berry (Realcyclist.com) @3:16
149. Kennett Peterson (Hagens Berman) @5:48
Oregon Women Stage 4 Criterium
*13. Brenna Lopez-Otero (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care) @:15
14. Jade Wilcoxson (Now and Novarits for MS) @:15
41. Hilary Billington (Now & Novartis for MS) @:15
44. Elizabeth Newell (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care) @:15
45. Ashley Koch (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care) @:15
48. Sue Butler (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care) @:15
74. Anne Usher (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care) @3:25
76. Lindsay Fox (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care) @3:25
83. Anona Whitely (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care) @5:09