Stage one of the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic is a long-standing course with a 20+mile climb over Mackenzie Pass; it’s a fast decent into the quaint town of Sisters, ending with a hilltop finish at three creeks.
My day started off on a low note as I was stuck at the bottom of a huge pileup in the first 10 miles. My bike was in pieces so I had to wait for a spare bike and then a long chase back into the group. Fortunately, the crash was so large that it involved 40 riders including the yellow and white (young rider) jerseys, so the pack was in no hurry and I got back in relatively quickly. From that point it was damage control, figuring out exactly what was wrong with me and trying to make the rest of my day as comfortable as possible.
With a small break up the road, the Competitive Cyclist team rode tempo while my BISSELL team worked to set up our climbers for the last ascent. With 10k to race there was a large pack still in contention, though a few accelerations and a constantly increasing grade whittled my group down to about 12, with a select group just in front. Mancebo took the win with local hero Boswell in 2nd and BISSELL rider Chris Baldwin in 4th.
Considering I hit the deck so hard, I’m pretty happy with my ride and I’m hoping a good nights rest will allow me to not be too stiff and sore for the time trial tomorrow. Team BISSELL has four riders in contention with myself, Chris Baldwin, Jeremy Vennell and carter jones all within striking distance on GC.