The Mount Hood Downtown crit is a hairball, technical affair with a crash-friendly downhill 260 degree corner and five more sharp off-camber 90 degree turns thrown in for good measure. The finish line features a significant uphill kick, long enough to either bunch-up or string out the peleton.
Teammate Justin Rossi was sitting 3rd on GC following an impressive time trial earlier in the day. Ultimately the team’s goal was to keep Justin safe, however I secretly wanted some personal glory. I’ve had success on this course in the past as the dangerous corners and punchy hills suit my strengths.
Cal-Giant did a fantastic job of controlling the field with their full squad. By the halfway point, it was clear they wanted a sprint finish as they kept the pace fast, consistent and chopped/blocked all the corners like they were almost pros.
Every couple laps there would be a crash in the 260 degree corner, panic would ensue and I would frantically search for Justin’s giant yellow Mavic head. Thankfully we avoided all the carnage and everyone finished safely with the pack.
- Sam Bassetti (California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
- Jesse Goodrich (California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
- Eric Riggs (California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)