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Cascade Classic starstruck spectator(3 posts)

Cascade Classic starstruck spectatorTypeOne
Jul 14, 2003 12:50 PM
I just returned from a visit to my parents' in Bend, Oregon over the weekend. Coincidentally (wink) the Cascade Classic was taking place, so I got to head out and watch Friday's downtown crit and the hilly circuit race on Saturday.
You can read all about the races and the final standings on velonews or cascade-classic.org, but I had a few of my own silly thoughts:
1) For a domestic pro event, this was very casual and personal, like any local Cat5 crit at home. Before the men's pro crit began, I was amazed at how riders and spectators could mingle. For example, I could wander around the Navigators team as they warmed up, and I was surprised to find that I was standing in line at a Port-o-Potty with Chris Horner. After the evening finish, I walked to my bike among the pro riders coasting back to their team vans. So I was walking along with Danny Pate and Jonathan Vaughters and could only say, "Duh...good race" or something stupid. Every one of the pro riders I encountered was friendly and loose, much unlike tightly wound local amateurs.
2) Those guys are incredibly fast and strong. I could ride portions of the 13-mile circuit on Saturday after the peloton passed by, and the strength of those guys amazed me. I knew I wasn't near their class at the outset, but watching them spin up a hill in a big gear then getting out and struggling up the same incline really put it in perspective. The guys are not mortal.
3) Tom Danielson = the next great American male cyclist. Lynn Bessette = in a class by herself. Cancel the women's events next year and just award it to her.
4) Great scenery in Bend, and the accessibility to the events and to the best cyclists in the US was incredible. These guys didn't all climb into their sponsor vans and avoid people after the rides, many of them cooled down and rode alongside me and other cyclists on the way back to their hotels. Great fun.
nice report!rollo tommassi
Jul 15, 2003 2:19 PM
nice to hear something positive these days.
ditto - awesome race scenerockbender
Jul 17, 2003 1:16 PM
I too was continuously amazed at the power output of the riders at the Classic. Lynn way off the front on Saturday... wow!

I actually was fortunate enough to host a couple racers and that made it even more exciting. It was really cool chatting with the guys that compete at that level and seeing what makes them tick.

I also agree about the nice feel - not much elitist snobism at all. Thanks to all the great riders that came to Bend and gave it there all.