This weekend I drove up to Baker City Oregon, for the Elkhorn Classic, with Phil and Nils. The drive up was fairly uneventful until Phil lost his stunnas out of the car window. After that we just laughed for about an hour.
Once in Baker city we dropped Nils off to his team's hotel and set out to find all the the minty boys that Phil and I were staying with. We got put into a room with @StammDance who is friggin hilarious! Room 112 was def the sickest room ever, we had a blast. We could barely walk anywhere in the room, but it was all good. There were all sorts of shenanigans like this.
As for the racing. Well, the first day was a 72mile road race that had one major climb and some savage rollers at the end. The weather was decent until about an hour into the race we got hit with some monsoon rain! I have never seen that much rain coming from the sky in my life. We were riding through about two inches of water on the road constantly.
I made it over the main climb with the lead group and the rain stopped just as we finished the decent and began the gnarly rollers into the finish. Each roller was about 1k long, but not very steep. On the first one Evan Pickett and a Land Rover Orbea rider attacked and two others bridged up for the finish. Evan took third and that group finished 6seconds ahead of the next group of about 10. I finished 20th 44 seconds down on the leader... Phil had a terrible mechanical where he had to take his chain off to untangle it from his derailleur and put it back on. He lost almost 20minutes.
The TT finished downtown after some switchbacks which was totally cool. Phil crushed it and won by 2 seconds. I finished 1:58 behind Phil somewhere in the 30s and lost one place on GC. According to Phil I railed the chicane like a champ, so I'm happy about that.
Room 112's plan for the crit was to get Phil and I off the front together crushing as hard as we can, and StammDance was going to try for the field sprint. Phil and I did get off the front together, but I kept dropping him in the corners and he was making me suffer in the headwind section. We were off the front a lot in that race and Phil got a ton of primes. In the end it came down to a field sprint and Fred and I were nowhere near it.
For the last day the forecast said 50 and raining in town, which meant 35-40 on top of the mountains. 100miles in the 40-50 degrees and rain is not my idea of a fun time. We rolled up to the school prepared for the worst, and got the best news of our lives... sort of. They decided to shorten the course and do approximately 10 miles of flat and then an 8 mile hill climb to the finish. As you can probably imagine the roll-out was wicked sketchy and there was a huge 15-20 man pileup towards the front of the field. I was about mid pack and avoided it smoothly. Fred and Nils were not so lucky. Fred got a bloody knee, chain rings on his back, and some bruises from being towards the bottom of the pile. He turned around and hitched a ride from a nice lady into town. Nils was one of the first to go down and his frame got crushed real hard. He seemed fine aside from being grumpy, but that's understandable.
After that madness we turned left to go up the mountain and it went fast. I held on well and got dropped about 4k from the summit. Phil dropped off the pace a bit later after taking a monster pull for Evan and we rolled in together in a chase group. Finished in about the 20s again.
Evan ended up 4th overall, which is a real good result. That was a tough race, but it was fun. I had a blast this weekend. Big shout out goes to Tony Anne for the amazing hospitality at the Bridge Street Inn. If you are ever in Baker City, that is definitely the hotel to stay at. The entire town was very hospitable to the race. Good stuff!
The ride home was terribly long, but in the end Nils pulled through in the final leg and got us home safely. Check out http://twitter.com/TheStaz for updates from the drive and twitpics.
Phil and I got 3 new people into twitter. @StammDance, @gomrpickles, and @dexdahl. Check em out.