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Ohop Trophy #4
Eatonville, Washington, June 4, 2005
Given disassembles field
Tyler Given (Benaroya Research Institute) made his mark on the Ohop Trophy series by racing over 10 laps solo to win the Pro/1/2/3 race. Given used his strength and superior equipment preparation to set a pace so brutal the only other finisher was Greg Goad at over a minute down.
As has become the standard, lap 1 was ridden gently as riders felt out the course. Heavy rains during the week meant the course was rougher than normal but the short climb, dubbed the "Muur Michelle", was easier to negotiate. Darren Vogler (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket) encountered early problems with his chain and was forced to DNF after dropping it several times on the infamous climb. The lap speed was too slow for Given however. With his Prom date watching the race and visions of tuxedoes in his head, the berries went up on the 2nd accent of the Muur Michelle. Given's attack was swift. "I was in 3rd spot and when Tyler went Alfredo [ Ramirez] couldn't match it," Goad said afterwards. Indeed, by the time Goad was able to respond Given had opened up an impressive gap. Further, riding "a carbon bike with a heavy rear wheel 28cc tire [with] tire savers in it [and] an old wheel [front] wheel [with] 30 spokes," Given knew he could take more aggressive lines than the other riders and used this to his advantage later commenting "I actually put my foot down once or twice because I overcooked a couple corners". Indeed, while Goad road strongly he was forced to watch Given slowly increase his lead. Lap after Lap Given motored his lap times hovering around 5 minutes. By 6 laps to go, only Given and Goad remained. "Bad legs," said Ramirez shortly after pulling out. Leif Clark, winner of the previous nights Track Omnium at Marymoor Velodrome, was more direct. "This course just isn't for me".
When told he had set a course record with an average speed of 23.25 miles per hour over the 30 mile course he responded with surprise, "did I really set a course record? Well it's cool if I did!"
Nolan Hayden (Aurora Cycles) won his 4th consecutive Ohop Trophy and locked up the Washington Cup Saturday. Before the start he was clearly nervous, but was able to use his experience to best Cole Cutright (Oh Boy! Oberto) and Jake Witty (Rad Racing). Hayden's father confided that both riders had worried his son "Nolan's just thrilled to have secured the jersey…he and Cole have been really close this year.. it does them both good to have the competition."
Observing the unofficial custom, Lap 1 was ridden at a semi-neutral tempo with the 1st attack going on the Muur Michelle on Lap 2. The attack spread the field out but did not stick as Mark Lambdie (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket) patrolled the front for Washington Cup leader Michael Pruitt (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket). Those hoping for Detente were defied as Brad Ross and David Diviney (Half Fast Velo) accelerated on the flat dirt section to open a gap. Lambdie brought Pruitt across the gap and it seemed that a winning 3-man break had been established. Pruitt did not have The Lucky though, as he flatted on the road section 400 meters past the wheel pit and was forced to back track to secure a wheel change. With 10 laps to go, he began his chase, rejoining the chase group of Donavan Grabowski (Gentle Lovers) and Lambdie a lap later and finally going alone on the 4th time up the Muur. Meanwhile Ross and Diviney settled into a workman like tempo and despite a dwindling lead were never in any danger of being caught.
Week long rainfall affected the course substantially. While the Muur had become easier to negotiate, thanks to traction provided by more exposed rock, the first 1k of dirt had become dramatically more difficult. For the first time in the series, the advantage had swung to riders who chose cyclocross bikes over standard road bikes. Ross, who had taken advantage of this realized that he could not afford a sprint finish. "I had a smaller gear on my cross frame so I knew I had to drop Donavan in the straight dirt section". True to his word, and with Pruitt creeping up 20 seconds behind, Ross put in an acceleration and slowly opened the gap up on Diviney who held on for 2nd putting him in solid contention for the Washington Cup jersey.
AVA Cycling continued its dominance as Forest Hoag won his second Ohop Trophy on his 30th birthday. Bob Converse (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket) and Mark Mirante (Unattached) rode strongly to challenge the AVA team, which lost previous race winner Craig Etheridge to a flat earlier in the race after making the initial selection. Several chase groups formed and at one point it looked like the lead group might reintegrate but in the end Hoag was able to break clear for a solo victory just ahead of the hard charging Converse. Mirante, in his first race, faded at the end but was impressive despite his inexperience.
With a solid series lead, Hoag announced his intention to keep the jersey cutting his vacation short to be able to race in the next round. Converse, buoyed by a very strong showing, is determined to challenge "it won't be easy to overcome…I will have to do well and we'll see." Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket Manager Pruitt indicated the team would be dedicated to Converse at the next race to "keep him out of trouble and also take as many points as possible."
Pro 1/2/3 1 Tyler Given (Benaroya Research Institute) 2 Greg Goad (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket)* Cat 4/5 1 Forest Hoag (AVA Cycling) 2 Bob Converse (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket) 3 Mark Mirante (Unattached) 4 Eric Layland (Zoka Coffee) 5 Kevin Dolliff (AVA) 6 David Volkert (Oh Boy! Oberto) Junior 1 Nolan Hayden (Aurora) 2 Cole Cutright (Oh Boy! Oberto) 3 Jake Witty (RAD Racing) Masters 1 Brad Ross (GS Cameratti) 2 David Diviney (Half Fast Velo) 3 Michael Pruitt (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket) 4 Donavan Grabowsi (Gentle Lovers) 5 Mark Lambdie (Starbucks Doubleshot/Spoke & Sprocket) 6 Steve (Half Fast Velo)
Local results 2004