Abercrombie, Buckosky, Thompson, Howard and Werner are driving down tonight to ensure a good rest and plenty of time to cross the border in time for the stage 1 10km time trial at 11:30 on Saturday. Look for Thompson to make a top showing as his TTs have been creeping up and up the ladder with a number of top 10s and now top 5s this year. It’s only 10km of flat terrain so standings will be very tight that afternoon. Every second (and millisecond) will make the difference, so it’s all out for everyone: long sleeve skin suits, aero helmets, booties, bars, and Thompson on his TT bike. Anaerobic grimaces a given.
The Men’s 1/2 criterium is at 5:00pm this year on the classic downtown Enumclaw figure-8. All our guys can corner and position themselves well, with recent top threes in local and state-side crits (see our posts on Walla Walla, Race the Ridge, Thursday Nighters). There are 6, 4 and 2-second time bonuses at the finish, as well as a number of 1–3 second prime bonuses. We’ll be going for them, either to solidify our high GC standings or keep other teams from moving up with them.
Sunday is the big test: 139km road race of six laps with some pretty fair grades in there. With such a close TT we can expect both agressive and defensive tactics enroute, with no one letting the leaders get more than a few seconds, and any low-GC teams attacking with nothing to lose and everything to gain. The added rivalry of GE / Trek / H&R will continue, while we also keep a close eye on Keller Rohrback Cycling’s James Stangeland, who won Walla Walla last month. Added pressure / reward: the race is one of six US National qualifiers for the Nature Valley Pro Race later this year—the winner of Enumclaw gets an invite to ride on a composite team against the big continental pros.
GE Manager Jak New will be down supporting us this weekend and updating the GE Twitter live during the races.
Annnnd Sunday’s forecast calls for rain. Again.