Kenyon and I drove down to Bellingham for the Skagit Valley Omnium. An Omnium is a 3 event race in two days. In this case it was an 88km Road Race on Saturday. Sunday was a 16km Time Trial then a 35min+3lap Criterium.
So first off the Road Race. 44 athletes began. It was a fun course mixed with rain. 5.5 mile rolling ride out to a technical 11mile loop. Lots of tight corners, switchbacks and a good climb at the beginning of each loop called “The Wall” Not super long but Steep. We would do 4 laps of the loop. Kenyon and I pushed the pace on each climb but never really split the pack. The rest of the loop I would try and stay out of trouble on the slick wet corners. On the final lap I attacked with Kenyon side by side. We discussed the possibility of us staying away. We both had our doubts with about 16.5miles of riding to the finish line. I decided to go for it. I had to get out of sight. I was able to take the corners faster than the large pack so I took advantage of that. I got regular updates from the lead car, 40sec, 60sec, 90sec and on. It was a hard hard ride up to the finish. There was a long straight hard climb up to the line but I never settled. 26.5km’s of solo riding to the finish. Time to recover for the next day’s racing.
The Time trial was a rather flat ride along the River for about 10kms then turns up a large steep climb for about 2kms and then a fast descent to the finish. I focused on the working the flats hard to limit my losses there as I knew I could climb the hill well with tired legs. With a final time of 27.08.5 I would finish 3rd in Cat 4/5.
So in the afternoon we were off to downtown Bellingham. The Criterium was flat, open and fast. Kenyon stuck to his plan and had about 10m on the pack before most of us were clipped in. So the race was on from the start. The entire pack had to work very hard to bring him back. Best start to a race I have ever seen!About 4 laps in there was a prime lap. I would sprint with another cyclist to pick up $20. I used the sprint to try and get a breakaway going. I would stay away for a bit but with such an open course I was swallowed up. I made a second attempt staying away a little longer but with a chase prime the pack was right behind me again. At this point there were three laps to go. It was going to come down to a sprint. So I made sure I was always on second wheel. On the final lap Team Starbucks was setting up their “GC” athlete. So I came beside him and moved into the slipstream. He took the corner way to wide setting me up for a good sprint 75 meters out. I went hard with two others coming up both sides but I held it to the finish.
What a fun weekend of racing. Results can be found Here. But Until next time, Ciao for now, Andrew McCartney