Nate Wins GC and Two Stages at the 2011 Mt. Hood Cycling Classic
Nate rocked the 2011 Mt. Hood Cycling Classic with his team of Yahoo!’s in Hood River, Oregon. Last year, after finishing 3rd on GC and 3rd on the Queen Stage without any support at the 2010 edition of the race, Nate was looking forward to attacking this year’s classic with even better fitness and the backing of a solid team.
Despite thunder storms and fly-by showers, Nate finished 10th in the opening Panoramic Point Prologue. Positioned just a handful of seconds off of the GC lead, he was ready for some aggressive racing over the course of the next few days. On Stage 1, Nate drove up the hills and winnowed the field down to just 30 riders in the closing kilometers. He attacked the remnants of the field in the final 500 meters, holding on for 3rd on the stage. Not only did he prove that you can still podium in a sprint with minimal fast twitch muscles, but he also took over the KOM jersey.
The third day featured a double header, with a 10.6 mile Stage 2 time trial in the morning and a 75 minute Stage 3 crit in downtown Hood River in the evening. Despite winning the time trial–Nate’s first flat time trial win of the year!–he only pulled back one second on the GC lead. Wanting to conserve for the Queen Stage the next day where time gaps would potentially be larger and easier to obtain, Nate stayed safely in the field during the crit while marking the yellow jersey.
The final day of the Mt. Hood Classic offered no less than 90 miles and 10,000 ft of climbing. An early break gained an advantage of over four minutes over the first climb, but Yahoo!’s squad kept the gap manageable. Nate attacked over the second Lost Lakes summit, decimating the field and slowly reeling in the deteriorating break by the time he hit the finishing climb. Nate’s steamroller pace would eventually crack everyone else, and Nate crossed the finish line solo with a sizable gap on 2nd place. His impressive ride lifted him onto the top step of the podium for the stage win and the yellow jersey!