The weather was terrible: 41 degrees and pouring, and my gear probably weighed 20lbs at the finish. I made it into the 6-man break in the Cat 1/2 field at the Banana Belt race on Sunday (80 miles on a tough, consistently hilly course). My buddy Andrew and I (both riding for Laurelwood Brewing-Team Oregon) bridged up to the forming break at mile 5, in order to take the heat off of the rest of the team, as we are probably the least race-fit guys on the team right now (living in Bend, we can't ride much in the winter, unlike those Portland guys). Hoped that we could ride hard in the break, and when it got caught at mile 70, we would have some fresh guys in the peloton who wouldn't have had to chase; we never expected to stay away. Both of us helped to drive the break hard, and stayed out 1 minute to 1:30 in front of the field until mile 40, when that kid in yellow bridge up and almost blew our group apart. We regrouped, and stayed together, but I was the 2nd guy shelled, at mile 65. Andrew stayed in the group, and 3 more guys bridged up at mile 71 to make it an 8-man group at the line, where the kid in yellow accelerated for the win. It was a tough day on the bike. Through mile 65, I was averaging 263 watts, and I ended up struggling across the line in 19th, about 4 minutes down in 3:30, averaging about 252 watts for the day and 23mph (that is about 1000 calories an hour) with 5300 feet of elevation gain in the race; completely shattered. Not bad for an early season race in honestly terrible weather. The kid that won was on the US junior team for awhile and just took a year off, due to motivation issues. I would say he is back, and super strong. It didn't help that our top fitness is still 2-3 months out, but you have to start the season somewhere!
That is me, 2nd wheel, in the black jacket. My buddy Andrew (a former elite MBSEF alpine racer) is to my right, in the white jacket.
Only the last 4 photos are of our race, the others are mostly Masters and Cat 3/4/5/Juniors.