Taking place in Bend, Oregon, the Cascade Cycling Classic starts next Tuesday, has a prologue and five stages. The 34 page tech manual got posted a few days ago which got me all excited. The overview of the stage is as follows:
Tue: 2mi Prologue, out and back
Wed: 74mi Road Race
Thurs: 14mi TT out and back
Fri: 71mi Road Race (Men: 84mi)
Sat: 50min crit (Men: 75min)
Sun: 67mi Circuit Race (Men: 83mi)
I learned from the past few races that either the elevation charts are targeted towards total confusion for the racer or I missed an elevation chart 101 course somewhere.
I always get fooled by those tricky charts for better or for worse! Either I am suddenly surprised by a 2 mi wall ahead of me, which did not even appear after microscopic inspection of the chart or I am fearing that seemingly immense mountain drafted on the chart, and I hit a speed bump in reality.
Figure 1: Stage 1: 74mi Road Race
The real challenge I am facing is the range of the y-axis of stage 1. The average East Coaster is used to an elevation range maybe between 300 feet and 3000 feet.
Cascade starts at 1600 feet and climbs up to 5400 feet which makes me wonder if besides a topographic map and a compass (see Tour de Toona report) I might be better off with an oxygen mask.
People who have been riding with me know that I already sound like a dying train at sea level. Let’s see how many racers I will aggravate with my rather noisy breathing pattern at 5000 feet.
When studying the x-axis of the elevation chart, I happened to find out that one of the climbs stretches to an entire length of 20 mi. How many Old Angler repeats would that be?
In any case, I am sure this will be another exciting week of racing!