The NRC continues today with the 30th annual Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic, the six-day, six-stage race that starts in Bend Oregon. A record 185 men are scheduled to compete in what should be one of the most competitive stage races on NRC this year.
The BISSELL team has had to swallow the bitter pill of losing the overall at the last stage of a race twice this year, at Nature Valley and at Fitchburg, and has brought a strong team to break that MO with NRC leader Tom Zirbel, climber Burke Swindlehurst, Ben Jacques-Maynes – but watch for Paul Mach and Morgan Schmitt to go on the attack early. BMC is led by Jeff Louder, who finished second to Astana’s Levi Leipheimer, and Brent Bookwalter, who are both ramping up for the upcoming defense of the Tour of Utah. Team Type 1’s eight-rider roster includes one former Cascade Classic champion in Mike Creed, a pair of stage winners from a year ago with Matt Wilson and Moises Aldape and the rider who finished third overall here last year, Darren Lill. OUCH p/b Maxxis brings two GC contenders with Chris Baldwin and Rory Sutherland. Add to the mix Rock Racing, Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmn, Trek-Livestrong, Land Rover-ORBEA and the stage is set for a detonation. (Men’s roster here)
As the fourth and final race in the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series led by Alison Powers of Team Type 1, the women’s stage race also brings serious firepower to Oregon. NRC leader Team Type 1 will field a reduced squad of only 5 riders, led by Powers and use it as a tune-up for the USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships, which take place in Bend next week. Their goal is simple, a podium finish and stage win. The TIBCO team is bringing three of last year’s top 10 finishers, including Canadian Julie Beveridge, who finished 3rd overall and won the best young rider competition. Amber Rais finished 8th overall last year, while Meredith Miller slotted in at 10th overall. And they will also count on Kiwi Joanne Kiesanowski for the overall.
The ValueAct Capital Women will be lining up with a powerful 7-rider squad and their sights set on a podium spot for one of their four GC contenders, Robin Farina, Kristin McGrath, Kristin Sanders and Chrissy Ruiter. One rider that the VAC team will be missing for the race is Leah Goldstein. Goldstein, the Israeli National Time Trial and Road Race champion, recently won the gold and silver medals at the Maccabiah Games’ Time Trial and Road Race. Goldstein was slated to travel back to the US late last week, but has been forced to stay for the closing ceremonies of the Games. Also present are Katheryn Mattis and her Webcor teammates including Fitchburg Longsjo winner Evie Stevens, Colavita/Sutter Home, Touchstone, Lip Smackers and uber-junior Coryn Rivera and the Proman Hit Squad. (Women’s roster here)
This year’s event includes four road races, a time trial and a criterium. Tuesday is the 71-mile (114 km) Smith Rock Road Race, followed by the 78-mile (125 km) Three Creeks Road Race. Thursday’s Stage 3 time trial is on a 16-mile (25 km) out-and-back course featuring a seven-mile climb. Friday’s 83-mile (133 km) Cascade Lakes Road Race is followed by a 90-minute criterium Saturday night in Downtown Bend. The final stage is the Awbrey Butte Circuit Race, an 83-mile race that includes laps of a 17-mile (27 km) circuit.
All maps are for information only – please refer to the technical guide for the latest greatest.
Maps for next stages will be added soon.