After much too long of a break from racing, Landon and Shane (me) headed over to the Willamette Valley for a unique doubleheader race weekend at Left Coast Estate. We would race cross-country on Saturday, then on Sunday, the barriers would be erected for a cyclocross race!
Left Coast Estate is a wicked cool winery that is run by some really cool and quite brave folks, letting a bunch of crazy cyclists descend upon their peaceful sanctuary! Fun fact: One of their vineyards is planted on the 45th parallel, which also runs through coveted wine areas of Italy and France.
The XC race was a 4 lap format, which is relatively unique to the Oregon race scene, but awesome to see, as it really caters to better spectating! The course mainly consisted of double track grass and gravel, winding through the multiple vineyards on the property. With about 500 feet of elevation gain per lap combined with the smooth riding surfaces, this was definitely a course that caters to fitness and less technical ability, so strong watts would be necessary!!
When the gun went off, the start went directly to a tight chicane through a hazelnut orchard before heading out onto the fast, rolling course. Landon put in some strong efforts throughout the day, overcoming a wheel swap after a puncture, to finish 4th on the day! My legs were definitely a bit lacking, but it felt so good to dig deep I didn't even notice the subpar performance. Haha. Both of us were very fortunate to have Alisha (Landon's GF) in the pits for us, providing perfect feeds to keep us hydrated as the temps started to rise, each lap.
After some chilling at the venue, we headed into Salem to pick-up some snacks, then snag showers and hang at our awesome friends' Brian & Anna's house who also let us turn their cul-de-sac into a temporary RV park for the Sprinter and trailer! Haha.
Sunday had a late afternoon start for the cross race. Landon pulled on some awesome pink spandex, while I pulled on my.....super short, cut-off jean shorts. Wait, what?! Yes, someone needed to be Head Heckler for the first cyclocross race of the season, and I don't take that role lightly. Haha.
While Landon warmed up for the race, my heckling partner Konnor and I got ready to cheer our faces off!
The race started and very quickly, a group of 3, including Landon, were off the front laying the hammer down. Some skilled bunny-hops over the barriers, had the crowd going bonkers right away, which was pretty sweet!
A few laps in, Landon began pulling away from the other two, slowly putting time in, going from 14, 26, to a 40 second lead over the course of three laps! He was able to keep a consistent pace, even though Konnor and my efforts of Candy Corn and Oreo hand-ups bounced off Lando's face instead of into his mouth for sugar boosts. Ooops, we'll have to practice!
In the end, Landon had close to a minute lead on 2nd place, giving him a solid win in his first CAT 1/2 cross race. Looks like he might be lining up to tackle more barriers in the future!!
Smiling through our dusty and sweat covered faces, the weekend came to a close, with our Fun Tanks filled to brim and already looking forward to our next events, which includes a local cyclocross two-day event right in my hometown of Redmond, OR!
Hope to see you there, with a Vuvuzela in hand!