Stage 1 of CCC moved to west of Bend

Wildfires burning just a few miles from Wednesday’s original race route


Published Jul 14, 2014 at 04:26PM / Updated Jul 14, 2014 at 10:13PM

Today’s stage

TETHEROW PROLOGUE

What: A 2 1/2-mile individual time trial on the streets around Tetherow Golf Club west of Bend

When: Pro women, 6 p.m. start; pro men immediately after.

Breaking down the stage: The prologue starts on Meeks Trail Road in Tetherow just off Skyline Ranch Road near Century Drive in southwest Bend. Riders will race on Metolius Drive and along Skyline Ranch Road before the finish near the Tetherow clubhouse. The cyclists will ride the course — somewhat circular and almost a complete loop — counterclockwise, starting and finishing near the southern end of the golf course. A prologue is typically held at the beginning of a stage race and serves to determine which rider wears the leader’s jersey during the first stage.

Best place to watch: The clubhouse at Tetherow.

Wednesday’s Stage 1 of the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic has been relocated, as wildfires by Monday afternoon had moved within a few miles of the original race route, according to CCC director Chad Sperry.

The Warm Springs Road Race, a new stage in the long-running Classic, was scheduled to start Wednesday morning near Maupin and take pro men and women riders through parts of Wasco and Jefferson counties and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation before finishing in Madras.

But with fires burning so close to the race route, Sperry moved the stage to roads west of Bend. The updated stage will basically be a reverse route of Friday’s Stage 3, the Cascade Lakes Road Race.

The pro men and women will both start Wednesday’s new stage at Wanoga Sno-park. The men will ride two clockwise laps around Mount Bachelor on Forest Roads 45 and 40 and on Cascade Lakes Highway/Century Drive, finishing at Mt. Bachelor ski area’s West Village Lodge for a total of 100 miles. The women will do one lap of the route for 54 miles.

“There was no other option,” Sperry said. “We know we can do this successfully, and we know the agencies will support us. Deschutes County, the Forest Service and ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) have been awesome in giving us access to the new stage.”

(Friday’s stage will be a different direction for the Cascade Lakes Road Race, going counterclockwise around Mount Bachelor instead of clockwise as in years past.)

“Wednesday is actually a more typical route,” Sperry said.

The pro men will start Wednesday’s stage at 10:30 a.m. and the women will start at 11 a.m.

Thunderstorms brought more than 3,000 lightning strikes to the High Desert over the weekend, causing several small fires, including nine on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, according to William Wilson, assistant fire management officer for the reservation.

More than 200 pro men and about 75 pro women riders will take to the roads of Central Oregon this week in the CCC, North America’s longest-running road cycling stage race.

Action begins tonight with the Tetherow Prologue, a 2½-mile individual time trial on streets around Tetherow Golf Club west of Bend. The women start at 6 p.m., followed by the men.

The CCC runs through Sunday. The total prize purse for the race is $37,500. Overall winners for the pro men and women each receive $1,750. Stage winners earn $225.

Serghei Tvetcov of the Jelly Belly team is back to defend his overall pro men’s title from the 2013 CCC. Bend cyclist Carson Miller is in the pro men’s field, racing for Jamis Hagens Berman, expected to be one of the top teams in the field.

Kristin McGrath, who won the 2013 overall women’s title at Cascade while racing for Team Tibco, is not on the preliminary rider list. But Tibco appears to be one of the strongest teams again this year, as Lauren Stephens leads the National Racing Calendar standings.

Running concurrent with the pro races at CCC are the four-stage USA Cycling amateur races, which include Category 2, 3, 4 and Masters men, as well as Category 3-4 women. Cat 2 men this year will race the pro time trial — the Crooked River Time Trial on Thursday — while all other amateur categories will start Friday with the Cascade Lakes Road Race.

— Reporter: 541-383-0318, mmorical@bendbulletin.com