Cascade Cycling Classic in photos

by Matt de Neef

The Cascade Cycling Classic holds the distinction of being the oldest stage race in the US. Held over six days in central Oregon earlier this month the 34th edition of the event attracted some of the top US domestic pro teams in both the men’s and women’s events. Angelica and Travis Dixon were in Bend, Oregon to cover the action for CyclingTips and they filed these words and photos.

The Cascade Cycling Classic is a well-balanced race that features stages with more than 2,000 meters of climbing, a flat and fast TT and a criterium. Falling in the latter half of the US National Race Calendar makes the Cascade Cycling Classic a critical stage race for top riders to gain individual and team points towards the overall standings. This and the challenging stages made for a hard-fought and exciting six-days of racing through central Oregon’s eastern slopes of the Cascade mountain range.

The men’s overall winner was 25-year-old Serghei Tvetcov of Jelly Belly p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. He showed his versatility, winning both the stage 2 TT and stage 3 which featured plenty of climbing.

The race saw the strength of the U23 riders with Jakub Novak of BMC Development Team, taking yellow after the Stage 2 TT with teammate and ultimate white jersey winner, TJ Eisenhart, moving into 5th overall.

Stage 3 saw the senior men of the peloton react with some incredibly aggressive racing. Scott Nydam, performance advisor at BMC stated, “We expected the fireworks to happen and the big challenge as a group was to see how they worked together and how they’d respond. That we lost the jersey today is a disappointment but this is a learning experience for these guys and we are happy to have had such a day.”

The men’s criterium on stage 4 saw the podium swept by U23 riders with Ty Magnar of Hincapie Sportswear taking the win, followed by Jasper Stuyven of Bontrager Cycling and Ignazio Moser of BMC.

Going into the fifth and final stage the top ten on GC were separated by only 1:15. Aggressive racing ruled the day with Joey Rosskopf of Hincapie Sportswear capitalising on teammate Oscar Clarke’s lead-out to take the win with always aggressive and defending champ Francisco Mancebo of 5 Hour Energy, taking third. Rosskopf’s win jumped him to 2nd overall, behind Tvetcov, with Chad Haga of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, taking third.

The women race began with defending champ Allison Powers of NOW and Novartis for MS taking a convincing win. However, it was the mountain stage 2 that saw the teams of TIBCO and Exergy Twenty 16 really put Powers and her team to the test.

Powers lost 4:32 to stage winner Claudia Hausler of TIBCO, with Exergy teammates Kristen McGrath and Mara Abbott, taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. McGrath took the GC lead on this day and said after the stage “We knew we had a lot of strong climbers on the team so we needed to use this to our advantage and try to get as much time for all of our climbers before the TT tomorrow.”

It was this team-oriented thought process that saw Exergy support McGrath to take an impressive overall win.

Teams TIBCO, Optum, and NOW all took stage wins but could not touch McGrath or Exergy for the overall.

Follow the link to see all the results from the men’s and women’s races at the 2013 Cascade Cycling Classic.