Bike-racing enthusiasts from all over the Northwest are on a perpetual spin cycle this weekend as the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic invades the streets of Hood River County.
Three of the five stages remain, and the competition is still anyone’s to win. But two riders rode to the forefront of the Pro-Elite division at Thursday’s Panorama Point Prologue — a two-and-a-half-mile individual time trial that took riders from Pine Grove to Panorama Point.
Out of a field of 250 riders, David Fuentes of Team Clif Bar and Dylan Sebel of Team Broadmark Capital were the only two racers to complete the course in under five minutes.
Fuentes posted a scorching time of 4 minutes, 43 seconds to win the stage, while Sebel clocked in at 4:57 for second place. Rusty Beall of Team Health Net was third with an even time of 5:00.
Lisa Magness of Team ICO posted the fastest women’s division time of 5:41, and was followed by Sue Weldon of Team Ashmead at 5:43, and Christine White of Team TDS at 5:47.
In the men’s Class 3-4 division, only seven seconds separated the top 11 finishers. Derek Archibald of Team The Valley won with a time of 5:19, barely edging out Doug Palmer (5:20) and Troy Heithecker (5:21).
Oregon’s Rich Kramer of Team Bike-n-Hike pedaled to a competitive time of 5:08 to win the Masters division, while Glenn Bunselmeyer was a close second at 5:11. Brian McGuire was third with a time of 5:13.
Friday’s second stage — the Cooper Spur Circuit Race — took riders on a distance of 75 miles, with a 6,800-foot vertical climb. However, results were not available at press time.
Saturday’s racing schedule kicks off at 9 a.m. with the 13-mile Scenic Gorge Time Trial. Competitors will then test their high-speed skills in the Downtown Hood River Criterium, which will begin at 5 p.m. at Full Sail Brewing.
The Cycling Classic will culminate Sunday with the Three-Summit Road Race — a 75-mile, 7,500-vertical-feet grinder that ends at Cooper Spur. For more, check out www.mthoodcyclingclassic.com.