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Elkhorn Classic

Old 06-04-11, 12:37 AM
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Elkhorn Classic

I think a few of the regulars here have done the Elkhorn Classic stage race before. I'm doing some final prep work to have the right form for the race and am wondering about the profiles of stages 1 and 2. I've checked them out on the event website and on Strava, and the climbs on stage 1 don't look bad. Is it correct that the two main climbs are 3-5 miles each and are mostly at 5%? Any steep pitches mixed in? Are there any steep rollers on the course? If so, how steep and how long?

As for stage 2, are there any hills on the course or is mostly just a 1-2% grade heading out, and a -1-2% grade heading back?

I see Hida is on the list of registered riders. Will anyone else here be at the race?
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Old 06-06-11, 09:23 AM
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I've done elkhorn the last two years and I'm sorry to be missing it this year. Both of the last two years it has been very cold and rainy (in June! in the oregon desert!) the last day, but since I'm not there this year, the weather is sure to be perfect...

The first day breaks down like this: 20 mile group ride through the flats, first climb (up to the wind generators) is pretty consistent and not too hard, not long enough to cause any serious selection. It is followed by a long, gradual descent, so the group always comes back together. After the turn in Union, very gradually rising for about ten miles, but the road is narrow and it can be hard to move up. The climb up to Frazier Mt. Pass has the steepest part at the bottom - maybe up to 10% for a few hundred yards? - but it's enough to detonate the pack, so you want to be near the front when you get there. The rest of the pass is very consistent 5-6%, but long enough that things get spread out even more. A front group will form going over the top, never to be seen again; between the wind and the rollers, it is almost certain that this group will absorb any small break that happens to be ahead. Long descent, and then the hard part of the course. They call them "power rollers," but they're pretty big for rollers - at least four are > 5 min climbing. It's never all that steep (maybe 6-8%), but you can't just roll over them in the big ring (I can't, anyway). Every time you think you've crested the last one, you see another in front of you. It's ouch-tastic.

The time trial is basically flat. There is a short rise after you come out of town to the turn off, then a gradual drop back down. Repeat in reverse on the way back. I don't come out of the aerobars for it. The overall grade beyond that part is not really noticeable - you notice that it undulates a bit, but you'd be hard pressed to say whether it was a net gain or net loss...

A few final pieces of advice on the logistics: riding back from the finish of stage 1, the “standard” route is to ride along the frontage road, but the pavement is absolutely terrible, 5 miles of expansion joints every bike length. Better to either ride on the shoulder of the freeway or to continue straight after the freeway overpass and then turn left on the next parallel road leading back to town. Secondly, whatever it takes, conspire to have a car at the top of dooley mtn. on the last day. Riding 45 minutes back to town after a 108 mile stage is for suckers. Last year, soaking wet after six hours in the rain, I think we would have died of hypothermia before making it back to town...
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