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I'll be there - raced it last year and had a blast despite getting dehydrated (like most everyone) on stage one.

It's a very enjoyable race, well run and on beautiful roads.

What info are you looking for?.

The first stage is harder than it looks and can be a killer if it's hot. It starts with 2 hours of cruising and then the crap hits the fan. From what I understand, every race broke up here last year and most fields ended with small groups coming in. Once you crest the big hill of the day, there's quite a bit of climbing and descending to the finish and a hell of a lot of wind.

The TT is new this year - out and back with a climb - I don't know the roads. This could be the decisve stage this year. In previous years it was a rolling gradual uphill on the out and back. It resulted in a lot of very fast times. I don't think it's going to be that bad a climb, but from what I understand it has a steep stretch about 1 mile in.

The crit course is superb (for a crit course), it's a fast L shape course on wide roads. 5 left turns and a right turn.

Stage 4 is epic. Most of the fields take it easy going and then hit the gas on the final climb. None of the climbing (even on Dooley) is very hard. The descents are pretty tame as well. Dooley is a wonderful climb - it's really a power climb averaging 4.5% for 8 miles. In lower category fields, the overall is usually won by the stage winner - in the higher categories, the climb is less decisive.

Look forward to seeing you there - what race will you be riding? I have the pleasure of riding the 3's which have been uber competitive in Oregon this year

Here's a bit of a recap of last years 4/5 race:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=32273
 

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I'm coming up from Nor Cal with some guys to do some suffering over in Baker City! I have heard great things from guys that have done this race. I'm not much of a climber so I'm just going for the experience.:thumbsup:

The question I have for those of you that have done this race is how do the neutral support vehicles work as far as wheels? Do you supply your own wheels and anyone can use them if they flat or what?

Thanks
 

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wheel_suker said:
I'm coming up from Nor Cal with some guys to do some suffering over in Baker City!:mad2: I have heard great things from guys that have done this race. I'm not much of a climber so I'm just going for the experience.:thumbsup:

The question I have for those of you that have done this race is how do the neutral support vehicles work as far as wheels? Do you supply your own wheels and anyone can use them if they flat or what?

Thanks
Wheel support is in theory "wheels in wheels out" so bring spare wheels and make sure they end up in the car - BUT the wheel car will hand out wheels to anyone who needs them - don't expect to get "your wheel" to finish the race. I broke a wheel last year and someone in the field who saw the wheel break saw me later and recognized that I was on his spare wheel :)

Which race are you riding? The climbing isn't super hard meaning you don't need to be a flyweight - you can be a power climber and do well in the race. Most of the climbs are 4-5% The important thing is to be at the front when you hit the first big climb on day one and be at the front and hang on for dear life on Dooley.
 

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I entered the 4/5. I had the option to do the 40+ but with the hills I opted for the slower field. I'm a returning racer after 8 years off and now 3 years and 65 lbs lighter, but I'm still a little "tubby" if you know what I mean. I'm a pretty good power guy but it will depend on how the race goes as to how much I have left to "power" the climbs. I have team mates coming up but they are doing the 3's and womans races. I'm also on Campy. I would guess that limit the wheel choice some what.

Also the reason I asked is I was considering bring my tubulars up for the road race but did not want to get sidelined on the road.

Thanks
 

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wheel_suker said:
I entered the 4/5. I had the option to do the 40+ but with the hills I opted for the slower field. I'm a returning racer after 8 years off and now 3 years and 65 lbs lighter, but I'm still a little "tubby" if you know what I mean. I'm a pretty good power guy but it will depend on how the race goes as to how much I have left to "power" the climbs. I have team mates coming up but they are doing the 3's and womans races. I'm also on Campy. I would guess that limit the wheel choice some what.

Also the reason I asked is I was considering bring my tubulars up for the road race but did not want to get sidelined on the road.

Thanks
You don't have anything to worry about - I completely blew up on the Medical Springs climb on day one last year and came in over 11 minutes down. There was still frequently a race official's car in the vacinity, any fields coming in after you will have a wheel car to help you and in the worst case scenario, there will be a car sweeping the course behind all of the fields. You won't get stranded.

Regarding riding Campy.. nothing to worry about there either - I ride campy too. The wheel support guy might ask you if you want 10 speed and shimano 10 speed will work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day One

Rode the hill outside of Union on the first day's stage, wasn't too bad, but heard that's where the field broke up last year from another guy who raced it last year as well. I guess that will be a factor as well as the last hill in the first stage. I have heard that it's a great race, but definetly stay hydrated as was mentioned earlier. It's been pretty cool out here in Eastern Oregon so far, but it should start to warm up soon (crossing fingers for 80-90 degree weather)...

I am signed up for the 4/5 race as well. I heard that for the most part the pace was slower on the last stage, and even the first stage than was anticipated last year. I guess the hills are what will determine it, but what do you think from your experience? Were there any breakaways last year that lasted?
 

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I'm racing 3s as well, driving up from Salt Lake City. I did the race last year. It was a lot of fun, though I got extremely dehydrated on Stage 1. It's a great race.
 

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make sure..

Mr. B said:
Is anyone else signed up for the Elkhorn Classic this June? Takes place in Baker City Oregon June 23rd-25th. This will be my first time in this race. Any suggestions?
your gear is in good shape. Last year I blew a spoke about mile 18 of the day 1 and ended up solo for the next 60 miles until I started passing guys off the back (less than I was). reason I got dropped was the headwind for the first 30 miles or so...no way to attack back on with 25mph in your face. wind was definitely a factor the first day. the TT and crit are pretty straight forward..fast. the first day up Dooley was a stroll the first 94 miles until it slanted up. if you can drive it to scout, do it so you know what you're up against. a scout for the day 1 ride out to Medical Springs would be good too..
I didn't have teh best race technically so make sure you wheels and gear is in good shape, bring spares and everything...and have a great time. My folks live in BC so I had a great home base...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dooley

Was able to go out and drive part of Stage 1 and look at Dooley Mt. Yeah, looks like a big climb. Rode to Anthony Lakes from Union and back the other day. I think the grade is about the same as Dooley just straighter without the switchbacks.

Does anyone know if there were there any breakaways last year in either of the two RR stages that got a significant lead before any of the climbs? From what I was told, it seems that the last two years the pack stayed pretty much intact until the climbs (Cat 4/5). Anybody see anything different? Looking at the times there are some big gaps, but this could be for a number of reasons. Did you notice that the TT was changed from last year as well? Looks like the climbers will have a good advantage overall...
 

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Mr. B said:
Was able to go out and drive part of Stage 1 and look at Dooley Mt. Yeah, looks like a big climb. Rode to Anthony Lakes from Union and back the other day. I think the grade is about the same as Dooley just straighter without the switchbacks.

Does anyone know if there were there any breakaways last year in either of the two RR stages that got a significant lead before any of the climbs? From what I was told, it seems that the last two years the pack stayed pretty much intact until the climbs (Cat 4/5). Anybody see anything different? Looking at the times there are some big gaps, but this could be for a number of reasons. Did you notice that the TT was changed from last year as well? Looks like the climbers will have a good advantage overall...
A 1 or 2 man break got away 10 or 15 miles into stage 4 last year and got a big 8 minute advantage at one point in the flats but was pulled back on Dooley. Stage 4 was ridden largely at a crawl.. 22-25mph on the flats, 10-12mph on the climbs and then balls to the wall on the Dooley. The stage and overall winner did the finish climb in 28 minutes which is well over 16mph.

There were a few attempts on stage one in the long section into the wind and a few guys attacked the pee break but none of these lasted long.

The Anthony Lakes Climb is steeper and climbs almost twice what Dooley climbs. Dooley is a pretty steady 4.5% grade and never gets steep. There is talk every year that they are going to add a stage that starts in Baker, climbs Anthony Lakes and loops back to Baker but it's never happened. Back in '03, that was the original for the mountain stage but the snow hadn't cleared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info. Guess we'll have to see what happens this year, especially with wind speed/direction. Get's pretty windy out in Eastern Oregon at times.

16mph/avg on Dooley seems pretty impressive! It would seem that bigger guys would try to attack the before the main climb to try to gain some time, unless they were power climbers. Might be worthwhile to try it, but then again, that time up Dooley is pretty fast.

What are the rules for a pee break? Do you have to stop or is it optional? I heard that the officials don't really like it, but hey, if you gotta go you gotta go!
 

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Mr. B said:
Thanks for the info. Guess we'll have to see what happens this year, especially with wind speed/direction. Get's pretty windy out in Eastern Oregon at times.

16mph/avg on Dooley seems pretty impressive! It would seem that bigger guys would try to attack the before the main climb to try to gain some time, unless they were power climbers. Might be worthwhile to try it, but then again, that time up Dooley is pretty fast.

What are the rules for a pee break? Do you have to stop or is it optional? I heard that the officials don't really like it, but hey, if you gotta go you gotta go!
The pee breaks happen when the riders want them to.. there's nothing official about them and no rules stating what you can do.. but it's bad form to keep riding when the group is stopped for a few minutes. The pee break on stage one was bad for me because I lost my position near the front of the field and never got it back. If I'd been closer to the front on the Medical Springs climb, I could have cut minutes off of my stage time because I'd have been with stronger riders.

Dooley is a 100 mile stage - you've got to be strong to put in a break and make it last.. I was surprised there was only the one attempt.
 

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wheel_suker said:
So how did everyone do? That last stage was one of the hardest days of my life!
I raced very poorly, but the weekend was a blast of course.

Stage 1 was bizarre.. I didn't feel good until after I got over the Catherine Creek climb. I did more than my share of work in a 5-6 man group to try and chase back on.. but couldn't close the gap down anything less than about a minute. I rode better than last year on this stage but still didn't have much on the grinding final climb and lost a TON of time here. I did everything I could do to avoid dehydration and overheating on this stage but I was having chills towards the end. Once I had eaten and gotten back to the motel... well lets say my dinner didn't stay with me.

The TT should have been perfect for me - the course was amazing and it had resistance in both directions (wind on the outbound descent and some good rollers on the return) but I just had nothing. TT's are my strength - this was probably the worst TT I've ever ridden. I lost two minutes to guys that I was putting substantial time into in TT's a few weeks ago. I was seeing power #'s almost 100 watts lower than what I should normally see on a 10 mile TT.

I just sat in and played it safe in the crit and finished with the pack.

Stage 4 was hit and miss.. We started pretty fast with a bunch of surges - we were ready to catch the women's field before the base of the first climb.. this is when all hell broke loose. Up front, folks started yelling pee break over and over.. it seemed logical, the climb was a bad place to overtake that field.. I don't know whether it was a team's tactical decision or one boneheaded move followed by the domino effect, but about half the field kept going and half the field surged. Needless to say, I made the wrong decision. Between the leaders overtaking the women's field, the pee break and the surge most folks who slowed or stopped had lost close to a minute. There was no organized chase on the climb - it was mostly every man for himself which made it worse. I got into a group of about 10 who got within 50 meters of the main field at the base of the second climb, but that ended our chances of catching on. After riding my pace over the second climb, I sat up and rode with a friend over the 3rd climb and set a steady tempo until another group of 5-6 caught us and we worked to the final climb. I don't know if I bonked on Dooley, I don't know if it was the heat or all of the extra work, but I had nothing to give. I rode the climb in 32 minutes last year and was seeing numbers between 13 & 14mph most of the way (nothing special compared to the climbers). This year it took me almost 50 minutes and saw 8.5mph way too much. Oh well, the descent off of Dooley made it all worthwhile :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great Race

Race was awesome!

Stage 1 kicked me in the bathing suit parts for some reason, I too got the chills and had trouble in the last half of the race. I think it was due to riding in the front from Union to the first hill. We were trying to create a rotating paceline, but ended up just towing the pack to the hill at a reasonably fast pace. Didn't do too bad on the hill and worked with some guys to catch the leaders, then lost it completely. One guy was stopped on the last hill screaming at the top of his lungs due to cramping. Had to listen to his yells all the way up. Not as good as cowbells, that's for sure. Oh well.

Stage 2 and 3 went pretty well, good courses and ended up passing three guys on the TT. Turned in one of my fastest times for a 10 mile course as well, so felt good about that.

Stage 4 I felt the strongest I had all weekend, surprisingly and was able to stay with the leaders until the final hill (Dooley of course). The 4/5 field broke apart on the first of the hills and from there on out, people were dropping off.

Overall, it was a great race and I was very impressed with it!! Can't wait for next year!! Thanks for all of the help!
 
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