I am not usually one to repeat a race report, and I do tend to steer away from such painful details… My team director, Giana Roberge, wrote this about our stage 4 of the Cascade Cycling Classic.
“The gorgeous 71 mile Cascade Lakes Road Race was the third stage of the Cascade Cycling Classic. Another mountain top finish with plenty of climbing prior tested the now fatigued legs of the riders. In the end it was once again remnants of another break staying clear to the finish, with McGrath chasing up the mountain side to catch nearly all the breakaway riders and finishing in fifth.
Despite all the climbing on the docket for the day, the peloton was feisty from the gun with Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 Alison Starnes and Colavita’s Andrea Dvorak taking turns attacking the field. Team Tibco to the Top was not going to let anything away, until finally a break of 11 formed with three Tibco riders, three Colavita Riders, a Now/Novartis Rider and Starnes representing Peanut Butter & Co.
With all teams represented Colavita and Tibco drove the break, quickly upping the time on the peloton. Noticably absent from the break was the Yellow Jersey of Clara Hughes and second place Erinne Willock. Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 was understandably unhappy with the makeup of the break and immediately began their rotation at the front. As the kilometers ticked away, the time came down, but not quite fast enough for the distance left.
Starnes was called upon to drop out of the break and return to the peloton to assist her teammates in chasing. With a massive turn at the front, Starnes brought the gap from 1:15 back to 45 seconds just as the riders were hitting the steepest stretch of the road. With the break now disintegrating at the front, and only four remaining, McGrath attacked on the steepest section, quickly putting time between herself and what was left of a very elite group, including Hughes and Willock.
From there, McGrath powered her way to the finish, closing the gap and taking back time, crossing the line 45 seconds behind race winner Rushlee Buchanan (Colavita). Alison Shanks (NZ) was second in front of Tara Whitten (Tibco to the Top).
In the end, the GC placings for the top five remained unchanged. McGrath and her Peanut Butter & Co. teammate Kristin Armstrong sit third and fourth, still 19 and 20 seconds respectively behind Hughes.”
Team work and opportunities. Today is the final day of the race. What is to come?
Team is about sacrifice. Never thinking about yourself. That is what team is. I believe in this.