THE DALLES – This past weekend, The Dalles was the venue for the Gorge Roubaix cycling road race with 260 starters, representing eight categories of men and women, hitting the pavement for an opportunity to claim top honors in the event’s second running.
Based upon last year’s successful draw, Breakaway Promotions decided to add another helping of dirt.
The spring time racing in The Dalles featuring beautiful countryside, dryer and warmer weather, undulating roads and – of course – plenty of gravel is the perfect mix to draw racers from our regional and local areas.
Not only is there significant representation of local riders, but a large percentage of the participants are from outside of the Gorge in areas such as Oregon locales Portland, Bend, Ashland, as well as Washington areas like Vancouver, Bellingham and Tri-cities.
The featured roads with gravel sections make the Gorge Roubaix a unique and interesting road race, especially in the spring.
Stephen Bedford, of Bend, claimed the lead in the men’s category 1/2, and Portland’s Beth Ann Orton took home the gold in the women’s class.
Bend’s Andrew Sargent motored home in first place in his master’s men 1/2/3 event, and Portland native Brenna Wry-Simpson had no issues in her category 3 attempt.
Also in the category 3 rally, Bellingham, Wash.’s Christopher Carter ran away from the field.
Rounding out the winner’s circle was Bend’s Nicole Pressprich, who notched first place in the women’s category 4 run.
Kirkland, Wash.’s Volodymyr Kuzmenko made his mark atop the men’s category 4/5 division, and taking home top prize in the master’s category 4/5 ride was Greg Stokes, of Portland.
The Gorge Roubaix signals the start of the cycling season and it also marks the start of the Spring Classics, which challenge not only a rider’s fitness, but their technical skills, with road surfaces varying in a wide spectrum of quality and composition.
The concept of including some of these into the mix of a standard road race was created and implemented showcasing the awesome riding opportunities in Wasco County and the Columbia Gorge.
Chad Sperry, Race Director and co-owner of Breakaway Promotions, based in The Dalles, states how excited he is that Breakaway Promotions is producing this competitive cycling event in the Gorge.
“Their spending supports innumerable small business owners,” Sperry said. “The outdoor recreation economy thrives when Americans spend their hard-earned dollars in the pursuit of outdoor recreation — $646 billion in spending that each year supports 6.1 million direct jobs and $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue.”