Hot, dusty, smoky conditions are not the norm in Portland this time of year, so yesterday’s race felt especially painful. Most of our riders are now focused on racing well within the adult categories to get better USA Cycling points rankings, and this race served as the USAC Washington State Championships, so everyone was extra-motivated for good results.
Zane Strait took the hole shot to lead the elite open race for a bit until the bumpy course decided to buck him off the bike, but he hung on to ride right behind Ian Brown to finish 5th and 6th. Peter Bentley and Jake Johansen rode very well despite the heat, finishing 12th and 13th in a field of about 24 elite riders.
In the category 2 / 3 open race, Max Smith rode with Jack Billowitz together at the front, trading pulls until the final lap where Max opened up a slight gap for the win, with Jack in second in a field of about 28 riders. Tyler Morgenson crashed in the gravel and rode with bloodied hands for 2 more laps before heading to the medical tent and Benicio Throne was caught in a tangle that caused a mechanical that ended his race, but both are fine and stoked to race next weekend.
Bridger Mills, racing age 11, competed in the Junior 3/4/5 event to place 16th out of about 36 riders — he hit the workout hard on Wednesday and said he felt good with his improvement this weekend.