After the recent conclusion of the team’s 2010 road campaign at the always-well-attended Portland Twilight cycling festival, the riders and staff have now had a few weeks to reflect on the successes of the season. Although a few early-season injuries left the roster a little thin, the riders took advantage of the team’s strong management staff, led by Norrene and Dave Godfrey, to once again rise to the occasion and claim our title as the region’s most successful cycling team. Utilizing the talents of Canadian, American and New Zealand riders, the team successfully rode in support of the Livestrong Foundation, accumulating over $8,000 dollars in donations throughout the season from Livestrong Block Party events.
The season started with a bang and after only a few weeks the tireless work of the team’s talented riders and staff paid off when both Patrick Bevin (NZL) and Marsh Cooper (CAN) graduated to the Bissell Pro Cycling Team and Kelly Benefits Strategies Pro Cycling Team respectively.
The team reinforced the roster with further additions from New Zealand and Canada and climbed to 2nd in the King of the Mountains (KOM) competition at the prestigious Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June. At the Tour de Grove in St. Louis, the team kicked off a 3 week Midwest trip with 3 top ten results, two of which included podium girl kisses. Once at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota, the team clicked it into high gear with Taylor Gunman (NZL) finishing 2nd and 3rd in the Amateur and Young Eider’s classifications respectively. In the process, rider Mike Northey (NZL) stole the aggressive rider’s jersey from the peloton with a well timed attack on the final day up the notorious Chilkoot Hill in Stillwater.
After a short drive south, the guys rallied for a third week of racing in only 28 days for the Tour of America’s Dairyland in Wisconsin. Throughout the event the Yellow Train appeared on full display regularly and in addition to a healthy bank account boost, the riders worked smoothly through the eleven day Omnium event to steal 1 win, 5 podiums and an overall Omnium podium spot despite missing the first five days of competition.
Although missing out on the team’s Midwest trip, cancer survivor Quinn Keogh (USA) held down the fort in Portland and won the Cirque du Cycle in dramatic style in June before finishing 14th at the U.S. Elite National Time Trial Championships. Experiencing good sensations in the legs at elevation, Keogh’s strong performance continued in the U.S. Elite National Road Race when he initiated and drove the break of the day for 80+miles.
A fast drive home and a short hiatus in Portland prepared the whole team for the next stint of racing in July. The Tour de Delta in Canada proved a great weekend with a win in the prologue and a 5th place finish overall with Ben Chaddock (CAN). Despite narrowly missing both the Team Classification and the Young Rider’s Classification, the rider’s were all stoked to race up North, it was cool!
After a tough ride at the treacherous Boise Twilight criterium, Bend’s Cascade Cycling Classic provided redemption. Ben Chaddock (CAN) finished as top amateur in 20th at the opening 3.2km prologue, with fast-finisher Mike Northey (NZL) stepping up big to initiate the breakaway in the stage 5 Downtown criterium, sealing his tour with a 4th place finish. All-round tough guy Roman Van Uden (NZL) finished 17th in the Young Rider’s classification after strong performances throughout the week, especially in the Stage 1 Three Sisters Road Race where he finished just behind the leaders in the second group.
In preparation for Portland Twilight, the Yellow train continued their winning ways once back on home turf with a 1-2-3 sweep of the Camas Criterium, a 1-2 sweep at the Vancouver Courthouse Criterium and a 1-2-3 sweep at the Oregon State Road Race Championships on the challenging Mt. Adams piste. The team’s convincing 1-2-3-4 sweep at Portland Twilight in mid August illustrated just how strong our team was this season. Every rider contributed to the success of the team by not only developing their weaknesses and maximizing their strengths on the road but by bringing their best every day; the team’s training and racing atmosphere was truly unique and easily lent itself to producing high quality race results.
Post season, Canadian rider Ben Chaddock ventured out onto the velodrome track. After a little training in Portland, he was able to claim 4 top five finishes, including a podium in the Team Pursuit at Canadian Track Nationals in Bromont, Quebec. A lot of generous sponsors were able to come together to help Ben get to the starting blocks so he was especially pleased to snag a 5th place finish in the Points race and a 4th place time in the 4km Individual Pursuit.
Fellow team track specialists Dean Tracy (USA), Andy Williams (NZL) and Jason Allen (NZL) all threw down huge results this summer including wins at the Ballard Criterium, FSA’s Track Grand Prix at Marymoor Velodrome and the Alpenrose Challenge in Portland. As a result, Jason Allen is currently ramping up for the Commonwealth Games in India next month while Team Sprint rider Dean Tracy is preparing for a World Cup training camp in Los Angeles with the U.S. National Track team where coaching staff will consider potential Olympic riders.
Not to be out done by the young ones, Heather Van Valkenburg (USA) won not one, but two gold medals at Master’s Track Nationals held in Frisco, Tx. Heather took the stars and bars jersey in the 500 meter time trial and the match sprint competition, rounding off her medal haul with a bronze in the points race. Team Chiropractor Darren Smith (CAN) also stepped it up to show the boys in Yellow what he could do by taking 10th in the world at the Paratriathlon ITU World Championships in Budapest. He knocked seven minutes off his pre-injury time!
At this time, all of us at Rubicon-Orbea Cycling would like to thank you all for following along as we rode in support of the Livestrong Foundation this season. We’d also like the say a big thank you to our generous sponsors and homestays, whose support makes our race results possible!
For everyone here in Portland, we hope you are all ready for a little mud! Its cross season soon and we expect to see you all out there playing in the mud. Look for Quinn Keogh and Ben Chaddock who’ll be sporting the Yellow colors at Cross Crusade events throughout the fall.