Half Fast Velo

Presented by Ninkasi Brewing

King's Valley

Forecast said sunny and warm. It wasn't sunny or warm but dry and cool isn't all that bad. Maybe I was getting greedy after the perfect weather in the Gorge the week prior. Or maybe I'm getting soft with all of that garage riding this winter. I digress.

Team Audi definitely wins the prize for the most racers in the 3/4/5s this year. Five in all for this race and they're all pretty strong. Hutchs from Bend had 2 strong guys. Then Jake Van Duering from Monster Media, Rob Angelo from EVO, and Greg Steele (this guy is freakishly strong and dangerous in a group. Wade or Ken, care to chime in here?). 

It turns out that sitting up to take a bite from your very dry granola-like energy bar at the same time several people attack isn't such a good idea. Most of the guys around me must have thought I was about to blow chunks from the sounds of my dry heaving. That's how lap 2 started for me.

Wade and I tried to initiate or get into a break several times this lap. I got out with a few strong guys in the head wind and we had some space but it wasn't to be. Then Wade hit it hard on the first hill after the right hand turn leading into the finish and put a hurt on those of us sitting back in the pack.  He had a gap for little bit then I guess he felt bad for the rest of us and slowed things down a bit.

We regrouped, did the finishing climb then the descent back to the flats. One of the Hutch's riders went out again. Nobody was reacting and he was getting some space. I was sitting somewhere in the middle third of the group and decided to give it another go. I passed the leaders in a full sprint and joined up with the leader pretty quickly. 2 more guys joined us and we had a break. This was the beginning of the last lap. HFV, Hutchs, Audi, and Greg Steele (again, freakishly strong and dangerous) in the break.

A few miles later we were joined by another Audi guy. I ride with three of these guys that were in the break on Tue Wheelmen rides and I thought we'd have enough fire power to make it to the finish. But team tactics [he says with a hint of sarcasm] got in the way.  Some jackass from Team Audi decided to chase us down single handedly and we got caught with about 4ish miles to go. 

We got to the final climb and I didn't have anything left once the front group kicked it up in the last 800. Wade left me behind, stayed with the leaders, and finished strong with a 5th place finish. 

No sitting in for HFV riders Sat. And it was a bummer to hear that Saul's chain didn't cooperate with him during the race.

Between the Gorge Roubaix and Kings Valley, 2016 sure has been a lot of fun. 

Wade or Saul, did I miss any juicy details?

Mike