This was a race I had wanted to race for a while now and really enjoyed the format with only one road race in the mix. The start locations were all in different places, so we got to see a lot of the area around Eugene, OR. One of the nice things is the field sizes are not too large for this stage race, which generally makes the racing a little safer and easier to move around.
The courses are a nice mix of climbing, flat TT'ing and the road race is great for a climbing classics type of rider.
My only disappointment was crashing hard, two weeks before the race. I feel it really threw off my fitness not being able to taper properly and seemingly playing catch up for the week heading into the race. My legs felt good through the race, but never felt great and it felt like I had lost my top end speed over that two week period.
I do know that even without the crash I wouldn't have been in the top 5...but might have been able to stay in the road race to the final hill and finished in the top 15 instead of the bottom 20.
This is a race I'm looking at racing again next year as I really enjoyed it. Also considering it takes place 2.5 months after my last "A" race of the season it gives me enough time to work back toward a peak and drop some weight for the hill climbs. So...hopefully I'll get a chance to redeem myself next year with a better, more prepared race.
In the end, it was a great way to finish the season. I wasn't expecting to compete in this race, but it was fun. I had a good weekend of racing and spending time with great company in my teammates.
Congratulations to Jeff on an AWESOME GC win this weekend...it was well deserved. Heal quickly and enjoy bike shopping :)