Wells takes win at season-opening Cherry Pie

Feb 19, 2011 by

David Wells (LifeCycle) holds off Chris Parrish (Hagens Berman) for the win Saturday at the season-opening Cherry Pie Road Race. © Pat Malach

ADAIR VILLAGE — LifeCycle’s David Wells made the winning breakaway and outlasted a quickly closing field up the finishing climb of the Cherry Pie Road Race Saturday to take his first-ever Cat 1/2 win in only his second race at the elite level. He raced as a Cat 3 for most of 2010 and received his upgrade at the end of the season.

Brianna Walle gets encouragement on her way to winning the Senior and Master women's Cat 3 race. © Pat Malach

Wells joined a break group of about six that formed a quarter of the way into the last of two 25-mile laps. The breakaway, which included riders from Team Oregon, Hagens Berman and others, built a small lead heading north into the wind on the front side of the rectangular course northwest of Albany. A flurry of attacks in the main group soon animated the race on the tailwind-aided backside of the course, increasing the pace and driving the peloton ever closer to the leaders.

Chipotle Development Team’s Jacob Rathe, riding in the Garmin-Cervelo kit supplied by his U23 squad’s Pro Tour parent team, successfully attacked the field with about five kilometers remaining and bridged alone to Wells and the rest of the breakaway. Rathe’s time with the lead group was short-lived, however, as it began imploding almost immediately, dropping riders and maintaining the slimmest of margins as the remaining lead riders turned right onto the stair-step climb about 1.5 kilometers from the finish. With the field nipping at his heels and gobbling up the remnants of the breakaway, Wells jumped hard and grabbed an advantage going into the last right-hand turn onto Palestine Road and the final bit of climbing to the line.

“I really buried the needle on this last part,” Wells said. “It just keeps getting steeper and steeper.”

Hagens Berman rider Chris Parrish led the charging field, which gobbled up Rathe about 100 meters from the line but ran out of room to bring back the winner.

“We caught the break with about 1.5 k to go,” Parrish said. “I attacked when we reached the back of the leaders and caught Rathe with about 100 meters to go. I just couldn’t close that last one.”

Wells crossed the line just about two hours after rolling away from Adair Village for a brief neutral start. Parrish crossed the line about two seconds later for second. Cyclepath’s Ryan Carlson won a sprint for third about six seconds later.

Check back later for more results and photos from all categories as they come in.

Cherry Pie Road Race

1. David Wells (Lifecycle)
2. Chris Parrish (Hagens Berman)
3. Ryan Carlson (Cyclepath)

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