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Grinding Gravel at Gorge Roubaix

Published by HPCCycling on 03 Apr 2015

Day 1

Words: Joel Fletcher
Photo: With Adam Oliver off the front and a strong quartet patrolling the chase group, the HCH-RPM team set itself up well for Day 2 of Gorge Roubaix | by Castelli Cycling / Ian Marshall
Course: 62 miles. Lots of gravel. Tough climbing for 5,100 feet total. More info here.
Riders: Joel Fletcher, Josh Liberles, Galen Mittermann, Adam Oliver, Cort Buchholz, Stephen Bedford, Kent Ross, Jonathan McCoy, Carl Hoefer and Daniel Lincoln.

We had quite a few cards to play on Day 1, and we were looking to have Bedford repeat his dominance from last year -- when he was able to win both days of the Gorge Roubaix in convincing fashion..

From the end of the neutral roll out, Galen and Joel went to the front to keep the pace high from The Dalles into the first climb. This put a lot of the fast finishers under pressure and as we started the first climb Adam, Stephen, Josh and Daniel were positioned well in the first group.

After the first climb Bedford rolled off the front on the headwind descent and took a minute and a half lead into the second climb. Bedford was caught by the first leading group on the climb that contained Adam and Daniel.

On the last climb Adam flatted near the summit, and that left Daniel alone in the lead group with former MTB world champ and recently-crowned Elite Fat Bike national champion Ned Overend (Specialized) -- who, at 60 years young, went on to finish in fourth!; Cameron Clark (Team Oregon); Billy Truelove (Hutch's); and a few others. Daniel unfortunately crashed hard on the Rowena curves back into The Dalles. He was okay despite a broken handlebar and shifter. Adam tried his best to chase back after the flat but couldn't again reach the front group.

Josh ended up our highest placed finisher at 15th. We had some bad luck and came away from the opening day disappointed. Cameron Clark (Team Oregon) won the sprint from a small group with Billy Truelove (Hutch's) in second and Canadian David Gerth (Langlois Brown) taking third.

Day 2

Words: Joel Fletcher
Photo: Roads like these. | by Castelli Cycling / Ian Marshall
Course: 75 miles. Lots of gravel, including some hair-raising descents. Tough climbing for allegedly 6,120 feet total (but we're convinced it's more). More info here.
Riders: Joe Fletcherl, Josh Liberles, Adam Oliver, Kent Ross, Stephen Bedford, Trevor Spahr, Carl Hoefer, Jonathan McCoy, Cort Buchholz, Brad Winn and Daniel Lincoln.

After some bad luck on Day 1, the team hoped to create some better luck on Day 2.

Trevor showed up with fresh legs and went off the front early with three other riders. They quickly built up a substantial five-minute gap.

The course rolled all the way out to the first of two gravel climbs and the peloton caught the break during the first climb. Adam lifted the pace and quickly made a selection of the strongest climbers.

Kent was positioned well in the second group and after flatting twice was paced back on by Josh and Bedford.

Adam eventually went up the road with Jeff Werner (Langlois Brown) and the duo stayed away through the 12 miles of rolling gravel and into the final 500 meter uphill kick. Adam attacked the final short climb and rode away from the Canadian rider to take his first P 1/2 win. Kent came in with the chasing group and won the uphill sprint from a small group to take third with Josh taking fifth. Bedford rolled in a bit later in 10th. Jeff Werner (Langlois Brown) finished in second for the day, and with his fifth place finish Saturday claimed the overall Gorge Roubaix title.

This was a great way for the team to end the weekend; we celebrated with our fifth or sixth trip to the Burgerville that was just steps from our hotel rooms, and a few beers at Clocktower Ales.

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