April 26, 2012
Itís Race Season!! Walla Walla Stage Race
by Team Trek Red Truck
Once upon a mid-spring Thursday, our lion-hearted cycle squad hit the highway for the first major bike event of the season.
In the distance the Tour of Walla Walla
sat squarely in our crosshairs. Our jet black Hyundai gained entry into America, pushed
through a treacherous mid-spring storm and landed in a quaint, picturesque town called Waitsburg. A quick bout of shuteye and a
bodum of coffee or two later and we were out in the sun, pre-riding stage oneís road race on a beautiful Friday morning. As the
day progressed the excitement mounted. The menís race was about 100km in length on rolling terrain, finishing on top of a three km climb.
The race began, attacks were covered, TRT was at the front, Power Gels were consumed and the inevitable field gallop up the final
climb came soon enough. Felix did a sick pull into the climb and up the first half km and swung off for our GC riders and stage hunters
to seek glory. High lactate levels were felt by all and when the dust settled Cody ended up 12th with the troops rolling in shortly
after. Our squad this year is young, keen and motivated group, so we all rolled back to our fabulous host homes seeking improvement
in the critter-on the following morning.
On the womenís front we had a two lap approximately 70 km course road race for day one. We had a few goals, firstly get the stage
win, take the time bonus on the QOM and stay in the hunt on the GC. On the climb for lap one Kristine had a mechanically induced
minor crash which led to a couple of matches being burnt to chase back on but Jenny easily took down the sprint for the QOM and
gained a six-second time bonus giving us some confidence for the next time up for the finishing sprint which Jenny also managed to
take leaving with us with a very successful start to the season. Post-race on day one the team enjoyed a fabulous meal at Sharon
and Larryís house and established a new team rule that if you win the race you get to try all three desserts.
Now that day two of The Tour of Walla Walla Stage Race has finally wrapped up, it's time to recap the events of the day.
To start off, we all crushed massive breakfasts and several Bodums of French press, then assembled our gear and headed in
caravan style for the criterium course. Today's crit was just shy of two km and contained a respectable number of corners. Both
the men and women's races were bloody quick, and I'm quite certain managed to scare the living daylights out of half the spectators.
Unfortunately, there was a massive crash halfway through the last lap of the men's race. The pavement claimed several square feet
of skin and apparently a few broken bones. (Best wishes to those recovering). The race ended well with "@T_Crusher_Trace"
(Tyler Trace) standing in number three on the podium. In the women's race, "@JSLehmann" (Jenny Lehmann) picked up some serious
time bonuses to help keep her on top of GC.
After the conclusion of the crit, we proceeded to make our way towards the Individual Time Trial course. This course was located
on the edge of Walla Walla. It was about 16km and only had one hill exactly halfway through. The woman were first to race here and
Kristine pulled off a 4th place, which put her in 5th and Jenny finished 6th overall on GC. The men also raced incredibly well, our
best result being "@A_de_Vos" (Adam de Vos) with a 17th.
Right now the whole team is basically annihilating all food within sight as we will our magical legs to recover. Tomorrow's road
race will crush the hopes and dreams of many individuals; however @TrekRedTruck's racers shall triumph among the ranks of those
we race against. Bring it on! On the agenda for day three for the men was a hot and hilly 150km road race to be contested over three
laps around Waitsburg. The team plan ....we knew we had to make something happen, we just didn't how it was going to happen. Just
a km into the race the early break went off with a favourable 2/8 ...Trek-Red Truck/other-peeps ratio. Craig and I (Adam) drove
the break up to a max gap of over five minutes on the field, with Tyler, Cody, Felix, and Quinn holding fort in the peloton ready
for the next move to go. 30km from the finish the early break was still away but we were now joined by eight more riders including
TRT's "Big Diesel" aka Felix. Craig used his impressive WallaX2 experience to manage the TRT forces in the break and maximize
efficiency. On the final climb 10km before the finish the attacks flew and I got away with two other riders, after the cat and
mouse tactics played out, I managed to take down the sprint win with Craig, Tyler and Cody taking down pack sprints in the
respective mini-pelotons that formed in the tough final lap. Unexpected bonus on the day was moving up to second in GC, with
the team moving up to third on TEAM GC. The team road a great tactical race and it paid off, WallaX2 was a great way to start
the season and is a sign of good things to come for the team.
The women raced 100 km on the same course as the men and had a similar plan to race aggressively. After lots of early attacks
Kristine managed to end up in a solo break however after getting brought back to the pack ended up in survival mode and was not
able to set Jenny up for the win. However, Jenny still ended up a solid 3rd on the stage and Kristine and Jenny finished 5th and
6th on GC. Shani also had a solid race and helped the girls finish first in the team GC.
Thanks to the three amazing host families that welcomed the team into their homes and supported us over the three days of racing.
These same people open their homes up to our team year after year and for this we are extremely appreciative.
More photos »