Allie Dragoo has a formula for time trials, and she put it to good use Thursday in the pro women’s Skyliners Time Trial.
“I just remembered to stay steady and stay smooth, and focus on your breathing and your cadence,” she said. “And you can only go as hard as you can go. There’s motivation when you can see the rider in front of you, and definitely when you’re passing people. I only passed one, but I could see two or three ahead of me.”
Riders started in 30-second intervals in the second stage of the Cascade Cycling Classic, and Dragoo, riding for Sho-Air Twenty20, finished second, 54.23 seconds behind winner Claire Rose, to move into the overall lead of the five-stage race.
Rose, the British time trial national champion this year, posted a winning time of 31 minutes, 58.29 seconds on the 14.3-mile out-and-back course in west Bend that includes a steady climb followed by a gradual descent.
Jasmin Duehring, also of Sho-Air, finished third, 1:07 back.
“It’s quite a nice course,” Rose said in her British accent. “You have to give it your all on the way up, and then see what you can do on the way back down.”
Rose, who races for Visit Dallas, is competing in her first CCC.
“It’s been good so far,” she said. “The terrain around here is pretty tough with some big mountains. Bend is beautiful and it’s absolutely stunning around here. We’ve got a couple gals who are up there in the GC (overall standings), so it’s about seeing what we can do for them over the next few days.”
One of those Visit Dallas teammates is Bend resident Jennifer Luebke, who finished sixth Thursday to move into eighth overall, 1:43 behind Dragoo. Dara Poidevin of Rally Cycling is second overall, 24 seconds behind Dragoo, and Duehring is third overall, 27 seconds back.
Dragoo, 27 and of Grand Rapids, Michigan, said that time trials are all about “being the most comfortable while you’re uncomfortable.”
“Today is a very solid course for me,” said Dragoo, who wore the polka dot best climber’s jersey Thursday. “I’m a very steady climber, so just the pitch of the rollers out there were really good for me. Rose did a great job. She just spanked me, but it was really good.”
Dragoo said she plans to ride for the overall victory, and she has a strong Sho-Air team behind her to help.
“The pressure is on,” she said. “It’s all about keeping yourself together through Sunday, because that Sunday course (the Awbrey Butte Circuit Race in Bend, the CCC’s fifth and final stage) is no joke. It hurts.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0318, firstname.lastname@example.org