CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team member Logan Loader headed up to Hood River, OR on a solo mission to take on the last installment of the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic. The 3-day, 4-stage event begins on the Gorge River and ends atop snow-capped mountains. Logan had a fantastic time trial which placed him in the leaders jersey on stage 2. We asked him some questions about the event and what his results foreshadow for the upcoming block of summer racing.
Logan Loader preparing to race earlier this season at the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Photo credit: Danny Munson
CashCall: The Mt. Hood Cycling Classic is one of the most talked about events on the calendar. Having now completed it, what did you think about the event?
Logan Loader: This was my first time racing Mt. Hood, and overall I have to say it is one of the best races I’ve participated in. The atmosphere is one of a kind, from the hard mountain stage on the last day to the criterium packed with thousands of people downtown by the breweries. The race organizers did a great job putting on the event and really took great care of all the riders.
CC: The first stage is the Columbia Hills Road Race which covers 86 miles and just under 6,000ft of climbing. How did this race go for you and what was your plan going into the stage?
LL: Well, I was actually on the fence about going to the race until the day before. I decided after a training ride went really well that I was just going to drive there and race. Unfortunately, I got a flat tire on my car on my drive to the race and had to wait to get it fixed for quite some time. I actually arrived at the race after a 12-hour drive just 3 hours before the start. I ended up sleeping for 2 hours then racing. Normally this would be a really well suited stage for me but after being awake for 24 hours I was just trying to limit my losses.
CC: You had an amazing time trial on stage 2, the Scenic Gorge Time Trial which was 18.7 miles long. You ended up taking the overall leaders jersey and winning the stage by 31 seconds. How did you feel going into the stage and were you expecting a result of this caliber?
LL: I have been training pretty hard purely for the time trial at Elite National Championships for the past month. I figured I would have a good result, but I didn’t know it would be by that margin. After about 5 pedal strokes however, I looked at my coach who was there with me and told him “wow I have good legs, today is going to be good”. I still didn’t quite know how good until I started hearing the times people were putting out.
CC: On Saturday, you had a double-day with a Criterium in the evening following the time trial in the morning. You had the yellow jersey by a solid margin, how did you approach and execute this stage as a solo racer in the leaders jersey?
LL: I knew I had the yellow jersey by a pretty good margin and that there were only a few people I had to watch. After talking on the phone with CashCall Director Paul Abrahams, we decided it would be best to just sit back and conserve as much energy as possible. Even if a break away were to stay away, I would probably still keep the jersey. With the next day being such a hard day of climbing, I knew I would need every bit of energy I had if I were to defend the jersey until the end.
CC: The Queen Stage of Mt. Hood, Three Summits Road Race, on Sunday covers a whopping 10K feet of climbing through some of the most scenic roads on the racing circuit. You defended the leaders jersey valiantly for the 91 miles of the race, eventually to lose it by a mere 7 seconds. How did this stage play out?
LL: This stage was extremely hard and I was definitely a marked man. There were only so many moves and attacks I could follow and go with, ultimately leaving me on the back foot when the final move went and stuck. It was bitter-sweet losing the jersey, but I was confident I had given 100% and done the best I could.
CC: The training and racing at this event bodes well for the rest of your season! What’s next for you and the team?
LL: I have been training very hard for the Elite National Championships in Madison, Wisconsin which are July 4-7th. From there, the team and I will be racing Boise Twilight Criterium and then head straight to the Cascade Cycling Classic from there. July will be a great month of racing for the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team!