Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Cherry Blossom Classic

Dear Red Truck Armada, 
This is newbie Red Trucker Cody Canning giving you, the curious web surfer an inside read into our first bike meet of the season.  Im typing this in the back seat of the team Hyundai, Entourage on our way back from The Cherry Blossom Classic (CBC).  The CBC is a 4 stage, 3 day race out of The Dalles, Oregon.  This race consists of a rolling 75 mile Road Race, a rolling 11km ITT, a Twilight Downtown criterium and a 71 mile hilly gravel infested slugfest of a road race.  Yahoo!! Here we go!
Thursday, March 31:
The Island Crew consisting of Marcel, Bailey, Bryson, Craig and myself catch a big boat to meet Captain Dave on the mainland.  Southbound and down we travel with rockin electro beats and world class high fives all round.  On our travels through Portland we find our beloved Liaison Adam Thuss having a snooze at the train station patiently waiting pickup.  The general consensus was a quick snooze was on order so a couple of the Westerns Best rooms were booked for sleeping duty.  
Friday, April 1:
The Red Truck Boys invaded the conti breakfast and filled the fuel tanks to maximum capacity and put on our figurative brass knuckles for game day.  Race starts, break goes off, we all miss it...dang.  After many failed bridging attempts and only 30km remaining the TRT boys decided to make everyone hurt a little and make the race possibly winable.  After some quality time spent in the pain cave the break was deemed successful but the gap was down to only 58 seconds.  
Saturday, April 2:
A frigid morning Time Trial into what felt like a tornado was at the top of our morning to do list. C Login and Bryson Bowers threw down respectable 11th and 12th place finishes, keeping themselves in good position for overall glory.  Of tap in the afternoon was Chef Performa Nutrition’s refueling, Mario Cart Wii tournaments and a wonderful nap or two.  
Everyone was mega excited to Shake and Bake in the criterium and show off our jerseys at the front of the race.  The course was a rectangular downtown twilight adventure on a wide open drag race of a course.  From the word go we were flying in 1’s and 2’s off the front making things interesting.  Craig and Adam threw down multi lap breakaway attempts picking up a couple cash primes with myself narrowly missing the final prime for the TRT cash sweep.  With 1 lap to go we were well positioned near the front of the group but were swarmed on the last corner due to some some sketchy pack cornering.  
Sunday, April 3:
Be aggressive, be be aggressive was the modo for the day for this showdown of a road race.  There was a 3km vert ramp and 2km gravel climb that we were told we should race up 4 times each with some slithering descents and roller coster climbs tossed in for good measure.  Within 5km we had Craig, Adam and Marcel charging up the road in the  7 man break of the day.  The boys just drilled it and had McKissick on the ropes in the peloton with only 1 teammate left chasing.  The gravel and climbing took its tole taking both Marcel and Adam out of the break with flats and shattered the peloton on pure speed.  On the final lap Morgan Schmitt destroyed the remaining peloton and only 4 others could follow in his wake over the 2 main climbs and across to Craig and his breakaway companions.  Craig pulled off an amazing ride to finish 3rd on the stage and also moved himself up to 3rd overall on GC.  Nice work there Junes!  The remaining field trickled in with myself just missing the McKissick/Schmitt throw-down to roll in 11th and Adam coming in 23rd after his big day driving the break.  
Wrap Up:
Overall we had a highly successful weekend with Craig just killing it and the team showing we the strongest team in the race.  HUGE thanks goes out to Marty and Joan, our host housing for the fabulous breakfasts, comfy beds and warm hospitality this weekend.  Thanks to the organizers of The Cherry Blossom Classic for the highly organized mega fun race.  We will be back.  
Thanks for reading.

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