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Squamish/Whistler, B.C, Canada
Experienced Freelance/commercial photographer who specialized in custom content creation, product photography, and strategy. My focus is connecting brands with their audiences, bringing life to ideas and media solutions to get noticed and hold attention. Ability to communicate and get the image for Industry/Action Sport, lifestyle Realestate and environments where good judgement and teamwork are essential. Excellent Knowledge of the West Coast of British Columbia for fresh locations to suite clients needs.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cherry Blossom Classic.

Recently I dropped down to Mt Hood area to compete in the Cherry Blossom Classic  Pro/ Cat 1-2 road cycling race.
It's been 18 yrs since  I Last raced at or near this level.. I've been working my ass off since Sept preparing for this season, now 25 lbs lighter and  starting to feel like a fighter again..The British Columbia circuit has been a good intro back into the scene and this stage race will be the real deal. 
3 day’s/ 4-Stages in The Dalles Oregon. Some of the circuits used in the Mt Hood Classic used.

Stage 1, 140 Road stage, 4 laps of a  circuit.

 The circuit was  super windy 4500 feet total climbing (Garmin).  I started the race keeping in mind Pro Team Bissel has 4 riders here and LandRover Orbea has 6 along with some other teams/riders I know are solid.
 There was a break right of the gun and I decided to just sit near the front and wait it out as Bissell had no one in it. Sure enough they came to the front and started attacking and countering.. Fun stuff, super fast in the gutter styles. The Break got up to 2 minutes before Bissell started throwing down. We hit the longish climb 6-7% and  the break was down to 20 seconds. A few jumped across and I was right there but I hesitated cause I thought there would  be no way the peleton would let it go.
 It Did!!..
 We hit the winding decent in big cross winds (45 km+ head/cross winds) and no one was willing to do anything. Over the next few laps I tried a few times to instigate but  got shut down, which made no sense as the race was way up the road @ this point.
 Oh Well,
 My legs were still good..Just need to dial in decision making/timing???

Day 2, Morning- 12 km Time Trial.

Out and back 4% grade out, very fast on the way home with some techy sections, narrow bridges.
Had a mediocre TT,    No loss in GC for me so it is what it is. I hit the wrong function on my Garmin @ the start and let myself get occupied with dialing it in. Soon after the start I turned around and my 30 sec man was closing in. That idea quickly made me find my head space and  pull away. Oops.

Evening Criterium- 60 minutes
Bad crash in the women's final delayed our start so they cut our total time down. Made for a fast night, I don't think the speedo went under 47 km hr. I was not interested in a bunch sprint so I jumped away with 1.5 laps to go. Group hesitated, I got a gap and the final Prime with 1 to go and got caught with 400 ft.  It was hopeful but coming into the last corner I could sense the train of doom.

Day 3- 145 km  Road stage,
Garmin 7400 feet of climbing,

The highlight of the stage was the  3x up the Cat 2- 11 km climb with sustained 6% and some sections tilting briefly to 10%. Bissell had 2 guy’s in the top 3 GC so they rode tempo which worked in my favor cause it meant no attacking on the climb and I could focus on 1 thing, “Surviving”..
1st lap up people were popping off the back and I was able to just hang on over the top. Jerseys zippered up we hit one of the most memorable descents I’ve ever done, we were hitting 90 km hr and I watched a guy get high speed wobbles,  front Wheely his bike for about 100 feet, I almost lost the group hammering my brakes to avoid him, just glad he did not eat it, would have been really ugly. .One dude did crash and broke 6 vertabrae/broken ribs, bruised liver. Thankfully No spinal issues so he will be ok in the long run.
The last 5 kms of the decent had about 10 hairpins, I tried not to think about my gluing job on the tubs.
Unfortunately I lost the plot 2nd time up the hill with about 2km to the summit and could not link onto whatever was left of the group for 3rd time up, I settled into a small group and we picked up shrapnel on the run home.
80 starters Pro-1-2, with 52 finishers.
I was 32nd,
 fun 3 day’s of just being a bike racer.