Turnbull, Boone get Kings Valley crowns
KINGS VALLEY — Lisa Turnbull (Team REP) repeated her 2009 Kings Valley victory Saturday by outsprinting the women’s Pro/1/2/3 field up the finishing climb. Andrew Boone (Team Oregon/Laurelwood) made it into a six-man breakaway that formed just before the final lap and bested his break companions up the final climb to take the win in the men’s Pro/1/2 race.
The 14th annual contest and third leg of the 2011 Oregon Cup took place on the traditional 20-mile loop that starts in the small hamlet of Kings Valley and winds through the local vineyards and nurseries before finishing on top of the the loop’s biggest climb about five miles shy of the start line. Hopeful competitors packed the work yard that serves as staging area and waited in line for the porta potties adorned with the names of past winners.
Turnbull and the rest of the women’s field fought wide-open roads and crosswinds as they traversed their three-lap, 56-mile race. The long straightaways and exposed roads of the course combined with the strong field to keep breakaways in check for most of the race.
“There were things that were away for maybe a minute, but we were always right there nearby,” Turnbull said. “There are just too many strong women that are independent. (Upper Echelon Fitness) has a fairly big team, but everyone else is pretty much on their own. There’s enough power in our peleton so that if something goes there are 10 women that are going to try and chase it down.”
The women approached the final ascending kilometers intact, anticipating the bunch charge toward the line. Turnbull, who won a bunch sprint in front of Veloroma’s Teri Sheasby in 2009 and rode with the men in 2010, looked for and found a strong leadout among the riders in the group.
“I was sitting on Megan Chinburg’s wheel,” Turnbull said. “She’s been having a great season so I thought that was a good spot to be.”
Turnbull jumped with about 200 meters to go and whipped past Chinburg (Upper Echelon Fitness) on her way to the line, opening up a small gap to Chinburg’s teammate Anne Davis Usher in second and Therapeutic Associates’ Sarah Fletcher in third. Oregon Cup leader Jen Akeroyd finished fourth and held onto a solid lead in that season-long competition.
“This is always a fun local race with the flowers and the porta potties,” said Turnbull, who races for an Idaho team. “It’s just a little more fun.”
The men’s Pro/1/2 race followed a similar pattern as the women’s race, with escapees finding little tolerance for breakaway attempts. Team Oregon brought a large contingent to the race and seemed especially determined to come away with the win. The Gentle Lovers, with a much smaller crew, also seemed antsy to make something happen, sending Mark Blackwelder up the road on lap two of their four-lap, 75-mile contest for short-lived solo move. With Blackwelder back in the group, Gentle Lovers sent James Adamson up the road for a spin on lap three with Yann Blindert (HPChiro/Alpine Mortgage Planning) for company.
The lead duo seemed innocuous enough until Boone and Team Oregon teammate Chris Dubois gently rolled off the front as the field turned onto Maxfield road and the last few kilometers before the start of lap four. Byrne Invent’s Sean Passage, fifth overall at the recent Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic, followed suit and cruised off the front with Rob English (Hutch’s), fourth last year.
“No one seemed very motivated,” Boone said of his escape. “My teammate Chris (Dubois) and I were just kind of dangling off the front. All of a sudden Sean Passage and Rob English bridged up, and I said ‘alright, this is the move,’ because those guys have a lot of horsepower.”
The six escapees joined forces and started the final lap together, combining their efforts to build a lead of nearly a minute over the the chasing efforts of Taylor Kneuven (West End Bikes) and Oregon Cup leader Jake Hansen (Word-RCB), while Team Oregon’s Scott Gray and Eli Romer watched their efforts and waited to counter if necessary.
“We had a good group,” Boone said. “A couple of guys were stronger than the others, but we were motivated to make it happen. Once we took the right-hander (onto Maxfield Road) we had over a minute, so we kind of started playing some cat-and-mouse.”
The jostling for advantage over the final kilometers dislodged Dubois, leaving a group of five to fight for the crown, robe and bag of gold coins that go to the Kings Valley winner — not to mention being memorialized yearly with a porta pottie named in the winners’ honor. Passage eventually got stuck on the front in the final kilometer until Boone took a long flyer up the final pitch with 500 or 600 meters to go. The Team Oregon rider opened a 15 meter advantage and then struggled to hold it to the line.
“It almost was a little too early,” he said. “I got a nice gap and then I was gassed, but it was enough to hold on.”
Passage was next across the line a split second later, followed by English, Adamson and Blindert. Colby Wait-Molyneaux (Hammer/CMG Racing) led the field home for sixth.
Men’s Oregon Cup leader Jake Hansen finished out of the series points but maintains a solid lead after winning the first two races. Series runner-up Brendan Gallant finished eighth, crawling 30 points closer to the Oregon Cup leader.
Saturday, April 9
Pro 1/2 Men
1. Andrew Boone (Team Oregon)
2. Sean Passage (Byrne Invent)
3. Rob English (Hutch’s Eugene)
4. James Adamson (Gentle Lovers)
5. Yann Blindert (HP Chiro/Alpine Mortgage)
1. Lisa Turnbull (Team REP)
2. Anne Davis Usher (Upper Echelon Fitness)
3. Sarah Fletcher (Therapeutic Associates)
4. Jen Akeroyd (Sorella Forte)
5. Brianna Walle (Ironclad Performance Wear)
Cat 3 Men
1. Matt Baumann
2. Ross Brody
3. Stephen Mcdade
Masters 40+(Cat 3 max)
1. Mark Magilner
2. David Masuda
3. Ron Babcock
1. Evan Griffiths
2. Rick Upton
3. Luis Valls
Cat 4 Women
1. Cindy Lewellen
2. Alexandra Burton
3. India King
Cat 4/5 Men
1. Dwayne Farr
2. Eric Nelson
3. Andrew Neill