RCR Race Report: Gorge Roubaix 2015
by Greg Kauper, Ryan Dean, and Dean Jasper
Ryan and Greg had been “IN THE HOOD” before, Dean was new to the experience.
Cherry Blossom and the Mt Hood Classic had both taken place on some of the same roads this race was planned to take place on. As soon as this race was announced for 2015, Ryan and Greg knew they HAD to attend and bring Dean along. Unfortunately, the two other races are no longer on the calendar. BUT if you don’t know about them, they are amongst the hardest in the country and take place in one of the most beautiful places to ride in the world.
We hit the road in the “circus car”, blasting down I5 and over to Hood River for nutrition and tasty beers. We ran into Julie who was looking overwhelmed at the thought of so much gravel.
Off to bed in Mossier, but not much sleep with the excitement of the upcoming race. These were new courses for us and we did not know what to expect.
After a pre-race cheer for Chad Sperry, we headed out of The Dalles, up the famous Rowena Loops, and over the top into the Gorge winds. As Ryan educated the pack about Sam Hill and his paving machine creating this road, two guys headed off the front pretty quickly and Ryan and two others tried to join them. Ryan’s break-mates would not do much work to bridge so they ended up coming back.
Then we headed down into to Mosier for a hard LEFT and the BIG climb… 10 miles of both paved and gravel road. Things came apart on the climb. It was every man for himself. Over the top we had a screaming fast descent back to Mosier for Lap Two. Back up the Climb for second taste of dust and rocks. Then HARD right back down the sweeping scenic turns of Rowena and back into the Dalles for the finish. We finished the day respectfully but the Evolution Cycles guys won the day.
Off to lunch at Double Mountain, in Hood River
BIG TIME NAP then back to Hood River for dinner with friends.
The day’s course headed EAST of the Dalles and up into the hills over the Cherry Blossom TT course and then a RIGHT turn into no man’s land. There began a LONG LONG LONG CLIMB, NO IDEA HOW LONG, and then onto the gravel….and CONTINUE CLIMBING…maybe 20-30 miles? The mountains were out: first Mt. Hood, then Mt. Adams. As we reached the plateau, we saw Mt. St. Helens. All three mountains around us as we rolled along on a plateau of farms and gravel roads.
Over the top we had a fast descent on GRAVEL for about 5 miles until we hit a winding country road. We followed a stream for about 15 miles down towards the Dalles and to the finish line.
We were elated to have completed such a hard but rewarding race and headed back to town for beers and lunch. We all hope this event happens again next year, as it’s one of our new favorites.