Black & Red showup to Bend and return in Yellow
The Cat 2 team made its mark at last weekend's Cascade Stage Race in Bend, Oregon. The three day, four race event drew a cat2 field of more than 100 riders from the surrounding region. Jason Bethel, Nikos Mills, and Kyle Farrell played it by the book to ride away with the yellow jersey: make the break in the first stage, solidify GC position in the time trial, and defend the race lead in the remaining stages.
The team showed up ready to ride. Nikos was hot off a state championship victory at the Skagit Omnium the previous week. Jason was on form and chomping at the bit for some hard racing. Kyle was just happy to race without a Pro/Cat1 field. The Garage underdogs had a good chance of making something big.
Stage one started with Jason in an early break attempt and ended with Kyle in a 39 second deficit to the GC leader and nearly 3 minutes ahead of the field. Off to a good start! Stage two's time trial needed to make the statement that the race was over for all but a few. Kyle's second place finish in the TT did exactly that: the 39 second deficit became an 18 second lead in GC.
Jason and Nikos stepped up to defending the yellow jersey in the crit and following day's circuit race by riding tempo and marking other GC contenders. Ensuring a pack finish for the 4th stage was the best way to maintain the race lead. Kyle conserved energy and kept an eye on any immediate threats. At Sunday's finish, Garage left Cascade with the yellow jersey after more than six and a half hours of racing.
Meanwhile, the Cat 3 team wasn't about to go unnoticed. John Sindell went for the early break on stage one only to get reeled in on the long climb to the finish. Determined not to leave the remaining races without top results, John finished 4th in Saturday's crit and 6th in the following day's circuit race. Hitch also took a top 20 finish in the circuit race among a very shattered field.
Cascade proved to not only be a great weekend but a season highlight. Keep it coming!