The six-day, six-stage race begins Tuesday in Bend, Ore., and promises to be one of the most competitive stage races on National Racing Calendar (NRC) circuit this season. A record 185 riders are scheduled to compete.
Team Type 1’s eight-rider roster includes one former Cascade Classic champion, Michael Creed, a pair of stage winners from a year ago, Matt Wilson and Moises Aldape, and the rider who finished third overall here last year, Darren Lill.
Assistant Director Gord Fraser said Team Type 1 has two serious contenders for the overall in Creed and Lill.
“That being said, there’s going to be a lot of teams who have really good contenders who excel at racing at altitude at this race,” Fraser said. “There’s the Rock Racing guys, Chris Baldwin from OUCH, a full contingent from Bissell and the list goes on. This might be one of the best races of the year in terms of teams bringing personnel to do well.”
Creed has been a solid addition to the only professional cycling team in the world with riders who have Type 1 diabetes. The 28-year-old won the 2004 edition of the Cascade Classic and he has led Team Type 1 at the Nature Valley Grand Prix (fourth overall) and Fitchburg Longsjo Classic (fifth overall).
Lill finished third on the Stage 3 Skyliner's Time Trial last year (while competing for the BMC Racing Team) on the way to his third place overall behind Levi Leipheimer (Astana).
Aldape won the Stage 4 Cascade Lakes Road Race last year on the way to earning the King of the Mountains title while Wilson captured the Stage 2 Three Creeks Road Race, wore the race leader’s yellow jersey for one day and finished fifth overall. This year, both riders have been slowed by injury.
“I think we’ll see the real Matt Wilson for the rest of the year,” Fraser said. “If we have him at full strength, that will help us tremendously. The same goes for Moises.”
The balance of Team Type 1’s roster is equally as talent-laden. Shawn Milne won a USA Cycling Professional Tour series event, the Air Force Cycling Classic in May, and finished second in the final stage at the Cascade Classic a year ago.
Valeriy Kobzarenko earned the King of the Mountain crown at the TD Bank International Cycling Classic in Philadelphia last month. Chris Jones scored one of the team’s two victories at an NRC event this season with a win on the final day at the Joe Martin Stage Race and Ian MacGregor has three wins to his credit this year.
This year’s event includes four road races, a time trial and a criterium. Tuesday is the 71-mile (114 km) Smith Rock Road Race, followed by the 78-mile (125 km) Three Creeks Road Race. Thursday’s Stage 3 time trial is on a 16-mile (25 km) out-and-back course featuring a seven-mile climb. Friday’s 83-mile (133 km) Cascade Lakes Road Race is followed by a 90-minute criterium Saturday night in Downtown Bend. The final stage is the Awbrey Butte Circuit Race, an 83-mile race that includes laps of a 17-mile (27 km) circuit.