Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race - 2015

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Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race - 2015

Post by aruss » Mon May 18, 2015 4:19 pm

Returning to the roots of my cycling beginnings (see photo below), Andrew McCartney and I made the an awkward U-Turn in the coho parking lot at 8am to rip out to the second option of getting of this god forsaken island. We missed the 9 by inches and were forced to endure the sunny skies, coffee and knick-knack merchants before setting sail to the continent.
Getting owned by a 13 year old Tyler Farrar look-a-like circa 2003.
crit2.jpg (196.13 KiB) Viewed 695 times
Arriving in Enumclaw late afternoon we setup our bikes and rolled out to check the routes coming up for the weekend. Beautifully paved, rolling country roads everywhere with little to no traffic. Some spin recovery at Big Daddy's BBQ followed with a good nights rest to setup ourselves up for the weekend of racing.

Stage 1 - 10k ITT - Mass Start Bike Rules

No TT bikes, no pointy helmets, the TT would be on the same setup you would use for the remainder of the races. A great concept I think to reduce costs and make the playing field more level. The course was a point to point affair with a net elevation drop. Catching a few riders spaced 30s ahead I felt I rode a pretty good piece but evidently had not when I saw the Cat 3 leader had 30' quicker. Some time to make up on the GC out of the gate sitting in 15th.

Stage 2 - 40' Criterium - 1 mile loop w two chicanes

The Criterium took place Saturday evening in the downtown core. Quite a good lap with high-speed cornering and plenty of cat-eyes and grates to keep your wits about you. The leader from the TT was dawned with a leaders jersey and as he barked orders to his teammates on the line I could see how his stature lent well to going down hills. Biff from B2TF came to mind. I made my way up to the front after a poor placement on the line and settled into the ebb and flow of the race. It was quick but nothing on the VCL's which had been great preparation. With no teammates it was actually kinda nice to do whatever/whenever. After each prime lap I made sure to be near the top 5 and then countered after the line. Each time I was able to get away, the best coming with 5 laps to go. I rode solo for about a lap but the gap quickly dropped once team Audi began their lead-out. On the bell lap the pack began to shred and as we knifed into the last corner I held second wheel on a TAG rider. Down into 53x12 I gave it everything to cross in second and grab a 6'' time bonus heading into the deciding RR in 11th GC.

Stage 3 - 120k RR - 20k loop w 3k climb

Sunday brought the threat of thunder-storms to the area and it was announced that if T&L was reported in Auburn (20mi away) then the race would be cropped to the lap that you were on. We rolled the neutral section from town the loop and began the first ascent of mud mountain. With grades and feel quite similar to the observatory it was a testing climb but would not prove to be decisive. After the first lap there was a fair size crash and two Audi riders pulled the classy move of attacking on it. After a lot of banter back and forth between the GC teams it was decided that Audi was the enemy for all. After not becoming organized to real the chase in after 3 laps of 5 I put in a good dig along the top of the climb to try and force a smaller chase. To no avail I rode solo for 2 or 3k as I was slowly reeled in. Turns out I had played a few too many cards in the crit and was now a marked man. The break lead swelled to 3' on lap 3 and then the teams started to work the flats. On the fourth climb the break came back. Shortly after though an ESCAPE rider rolled off the front on flats somewhat nonchalantly. The last time up the climb the group shrunk again however not as much as liking. I put in another dig near the top but was yet again marked quickly. The ESCAPE rider however had a dangerous gap as we headed into the last 8k. It took some big pulls from the GC teams to reel him in with 2k to go. The run-up to the line was fairly congested until the final drag where we had the whole road. Not able to match the jump of the others I finished 7th in the group of 15 with the same time.

The road race had split the GC riders up though and I finished up in 4th GC +1 second from 3rd and -1 second from 5th, so it was a tight affair. The winner of Cat 3 GC did it by amassing time bonuses in the crit and RR to take it by 1 second. Not unlike Sagan's efforts this weekend as well!

Overall a great weekend of racing, I would recommend the trip to all wanting to experience a stage race close by that offers a variety of courses to suite all different styles of riding.
Last edited by aruss on Wed May 20, 2015 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race - 2015

Post by stephane » Mon May 18, 2015 7:15 pm

Great report Andrew. I'm not surprised that you did so well, you're a machine! BCs should be a blast too if several team members are going. There is the Dove Creek RR and TT on July 4th too.

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Re: Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race - 2015

Post by ghomer » Tue May 19, 2015 11:23 am

B2TF Reference...Priceless

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