Cascade Classic – Stage 2 TT: Power Course

(photo credit: Brian Hodes / VeloImages)

I said I wanted a do over after the prologue on Tuesday. When I crossed the line after the time trial yesterday, I actually felt pretty good about my effort. It wasn’t until my teammates started talking about their times that I began to think maybe I hadn’t gone as well as I had felt I had. At first, I actually thought my time might have been wrong.

My time wasn’t wrong. I finished 3:35 back on Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12), who extended her overall lead with her third stage win in three days. My time slotted me into 19th place on the stage but moved me up to 10th overall. I’m not a fantastic time trialist by any means, but the course suited me. It was a power course – flat, fast and hard pedaling required throughout the entire effort. It sucks to get back to the team tent, feel like you did a good job and learn that you didn’t.

Katheryn Curi Mattis (Vanderkitten-Focus) was my one minute person, and I used her to gauge my effort out on the road. I know she can do a strong time trial. I also knew this is her first major race of the season, so I wasn’t entirely sure of her form. I caught my 30 second person, and at the turnaround, I could see that I had put time into the person that started 30 seconds behind me. Katheryn remained squarely in my sight, and I thought I was holding her at a pretty steady distance.

Overall, it was a hard time trial course – a good course but a challenging one. There were very few places to relax. The route took us through a really beautiful area and included a good mix of smooth, fast roads and some rougher chip seal. Other than the change in road quality, it was a course that allowed riders to find a steady rhythm as it lacked elements that would disrupt steady pedaling.

(photo credit: Brian Hodes / VeloImages)

I used a 55-tooth chain ring, and I wonder if I should have used a 54, if it was a mistake to push such a big gear. This was my first long time trial effort this season. The course covered 16 miles. Not only was it my first long time trial, it was only my second time on my time trial bike. No excuses. These are just the things I’m thinking about as I try to understand why I didn’t have as good of a day as I had wanted or expected.

It was a good day from a team perspective. Megan Gaurnier finished fourth on the stage. She moved from second to fourth overall, with Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) and Carmen Small (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) leapfrogging into second and third respectively thanks to their time trial efforts.. Kristin leads the overall by 2:23 over Ali in second place, but only 18 seconds separate second from fourth, so it’s shaping up to be a good general classification battle in that regard. Amanda jumped to sixth overall at 3:32 off the lead after having an awesome day on the TT bike finishing in sixth – one of her strongest TT results this year. And just two places back in eighth, Lauren Hall put in a stellar ride on the TT course and is now in 15th overall. Kristin has a generous lead over the peloton, but with only 1:23 separating second from seventh a lot can change in the next few days.

Tomorrow is the Cascade Lakes Road Race at Mount Bachelor. We’ll look to move Megan up the overall and factor into any breaks that look to be winning moves.

Results from the Crooked River Time Trial here.

My Strava file from stage two here. 

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