Owen, Wilcoxson get CBCC stage 1 wins
THE DALLES — Youth ruled the day in the men’s Pro/1/2 race of the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic Friday as six-time junior cyclocross National Champion Logan Owen, who turned 16 just last week, took the stage 1 win from a small breakaway group that formed just minutes into the 75-mile race. In the women’s Pro/1/2 race, Southern Oregon’s Jade Wilcoxson (Landshark/Flywheel) won the sprint from a small handful of lead group survivors after the peloton broke in two the first time up the only significant climb on the course.
Owen, who rides for Seattle’s Hagens Berman cycling team, initiated the all-day breakaway with another rider and was soon joined by seven more escapees, including two Team Oregon/Laurelwood riders and one rider each from Bob’s Bicycles, Keller Rohrback, Yahoo!, Audi, Garage Racing and Word-RCB. The breakaway built a lead of as much as 1:40 before whittling itself down to eight by dislodging the Bob’s rider on the second lap. The Garage Racing rider was the next to go, and a broken spoke paired the leaders down to six going through the feedzone on the third lap with an advantage of about 2:30.
The attacks and counter attacks came in flurries on the last lap, with Owen and Team Oregon/Laurelwood riders Chris Swan and Eli Romer gaining a 15-second advantage over the final climb before the long descent and then a mostly flat run into the finish. The trio pressed its advantage down the descent — except for the fact that Owen, as a 16-year-old, had spun out his 48-13 restricted junior gearing.
“The Laurelwood guys weren’t too happy with me,” Owen said. “But I tried my best to go down that descent. Sorry about the 48-13. They were asking me if I was going to pimp them at the line. I just told them I was doing what it takes to win. And I’m trying to get down this hill just as fast as you are.”
Despite the lead trio’s efforts, the riders they had dropped on the last climb, including Word-RCB’s Jake Hansen and Audi’s Shawn Onger, charged back and regained contact just before the final sweeping corner back toward the finish at Petersburg School. Hansen immediately went to the front and led the group through the last right-hander before the long drag to the finish. It proved to be the perfect lead out for Owen.
“I followed (Hansen) and hit it right out of the corner for 300 meters, maybe 350,” Owen said. “I opened up a two-second gap from there.”
Owen won with enough time to post up a one-handed victory salute. Ongers nipped Hansen and Swan at the line for second an instant later, with Hansen picking up the final podium spot.
Owen now takes a two-second advantage into Saturday’s time trial, where the junior phenom doesn’t expect to bring home another stage win but hopes to ride well enough to keep alive his hopes for an overall win.
“I’m obviously not the best time trialist here, but it’ll play out,” he said. “I’m hoping to hang onto maybe a top-five spot. But there are guys like (Audi’s) Ian McKissick who will probably beat me. I’m hoping to conserve like a minute to them, that way I’ll have a chance to gain back some time in the crit or road race. The last stage seems to suit me pretty well. I like climbing.”Climbing played a major role in deciding the Women’s Pro/1/2 three-lap race Friday. The first time up the major climb the pace set by the Cycling BC team out of Canada carved the field into two groups, with 16 women making the select lead bunch. The lead group dropped to 12 the second time up the major climb, and by lap three the it was down to eight, including Wilcoxson, Patricia Bailey, Sorella Forte’s Leia Tyrrell and riders from Cycling BC, Cucina Fresca and REP Gym/Riverston.
By the final lap the main chasers were nearly five minutes behind and had no hope of reeling in the determined lead group, which was starting to unravel with attacks coming consistently on the last lap. Two more riders dropped out of the lead group on the long downhill run to the finish, leaving six coming through the final turn to battle for the stage win.
As the group jumped out the final corner, Wilcoxson countered another rider’s sprint and suddenly found herself out front with a small advantage. She punched it for the line, opening up a two-second gap that provided her with plenty of time to salute the result. Cycling BC’s Jasmin Glaesser was second, followed by Tyrrell, Lisa Turnbull, Jenny Lehmann and Patricia Baily, all of them just two seconds off the leader.
CBCC Stage 1
1. Logan Owen (Hagens Berman) 2:59.30
2. Shawn Onger (Audi) same time
3. Jake Hansen (Word-RCB) same time
4. Chris Swan (Team Oregon/Laurelwood) same time
5. Eli Romer (Team Oregon/Laurelwood) +:02
1. Jade Wilcoxson (Landshark/Flywheel) 2:47.41
2. Jasmin Glaesser (Bicycle BC) +:02
3. Leia Tyrrell (Sorella Forte) +:02
4. Lisa Turnbull (REP Gym/Riverstone) +:02
5. Jenny Lehmann (Cycling BC) +:02
Check the site soon for a full photo gallery from all the day’s racing.