It is sunny and warm in Wenatchee.
The Tour de Bloom stage race kicked off with a road race on a rolling course, not unlike Lands End, and finished with a nasty 4-5 minute climb to the line. Cole G. represented the Wheelers in Cat 3, Deb S. raced in the women's Cat 1/2 field, and Nick M. and myself lined up in men's the Cat 1/2.
Women's Cat 1/2/3
The women's cat 1/2/3 race was scheduled for 2 laps of the 40km course, before turning off for the sprint up the hill to the line. Unfortunately, Deb had a nasty crash on the second lap and was forced to abandon with a broken fork and hopefully no serious physical injuries. Victoria native, Megan Rathwell, took the win and put 30 seconds into the field after she attacked at the bottom of the climb.
Men's Cat 3
The men's Cat 3 race did 2 laps of the course and also finished with the climb to the line. The race started out slowly and picked up as people tried their luck off the front however, every move was inevitably brought back. With 20km to go a break of 3 riders was up the road and 2 of them would hold it to the base of the hill. Cole maintained good positioning in the group throughout the race, with the plan to uncork the spice at the base of the climb. Cole and two other riders were able to reel in one of the original members of the break and fell 9 seconds short of catching the leader. Cole ultimately finished 3rd on the day
Men's Cat 1/2
The men's Cat1/2 race was 3 laps of the course, with the same finishing climb to the line. The race was fast from the gun and with three major teams represented with good numbers, nothing was allowed to get too far down the road. After the first lap, it was clear that nothing was sticking so Nick and I decided to hang tight in the group and try to maneuver our way to the front before the start of the climb. This turned out to be difficult and the last 10km before the climb was fast and hectic as everyone was trying to move up. At the bottom of the climb the 60-70 person field was compact and set to blow. Nick and I were sitting in the front third and right before the climb Nick made a sly move to get closer to the front. Nick had a great climb, hanging onto the front group nearly all the way and finishing in a very respectable 16th. I gave it my best but was unable to close a gap that opened on the front group and settled for 22nd.
TT and Crit tomorrow. Road Race Sunday.
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