Mason Lake, WA - Ian Tubbs managed a strong second place in the first race of the seaosn for the Seattle Audi Cycling Team. Following is the report from Ian Tubbs.

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Well we're off to the races here in the PNW!

We didn't have a huge turnout in the 1/2's.  Toeing the line was our fearless leader Mike "check out my tan lines" Hone, Shawn "I just ran up a building" Ongers, Jordan "my mom made me cut my hair" Campbell, Eric "Super" Schuman and yours truly.  Or was that it?  I see Mike Taylor's name as a DNF in the results but I don't recall seeing him out there.  Maybe Mike can
clarify for us!

The first 4 of six laps were pretty fast with groups trying to get away and the pack chasing.  Jordan, Mike and Shawn were all really active in trying to find the "right" move.  I was just trying to stay out of trouble and in the bunch.  Was I hiding?  You're damn right I was hiding!  ;-)

I won't get into much but I haven't been riding nearly as much as I'm used to the last couple months so I wasn't real confident in my fitness.  In fact, I really wasn't planning to go to the race at all but Shawn needed a ride from Seattle Sunday morning after doing the Firefighter Stairclimb.

Back to the race.  About halfway through Mike started drifting to the back more and more often.  He made a comment about his new Roval wheels that I won't repeat.  It turns out that it had nothing to do with the wheels, he put new brake pads on before the race and his rear brake was rubbing on the rim!  D'oh!  Time to find a new mechanic Mikey!  Hahaha!

As we rolled through the start area with 2 laps to go there was yet another move trying to get off the front.  I was near the front and went to cover a couple guys that had opened a small gap about 150 meters before the first corner (onto the smooth highway section).  I was just following wheels up the big roller and found myself in good company so I dug deep to stay with
them.  Over the top I chanced a glance back and noticed a pretty decent gap forming.

In the break was Jamie Stangeland (Keller Rohrback aka the Killer Robots), David Richter (Herriot Sports Performance), Kyle Farrell (Garage), Olivier Humbert (IJM.org), Steven Wilssens (Bikesale.com), Joe Holmes and Ian Crane (Hagens Berman).

Jamie showed his cards early with a couple pulls on that front stretch that nearly shattered the group but really helped the gap open.  Once we got the gap out far enough we settled into a steady paceline.  Myself, Joe and Olivier would skip pulls every so often.  I think Olivier and I felt like we were barely hanging on (I was feeling cramp twinges anytime I got out of the
saddle) and I think Joe was trying to save his pulls for a lead out for Ian Crane.

Fortunately it all stayed together until about 4 miles to go when Jamie jumped hard over the top of a roller and immediately got a gap.  Steven was the first to go after him and got away clean.  Next to go was Crane and I was able to drag him back.  We then settled into chasing and everyone left was taking pulls.

At about 2000 meters out we caught back up to Steven and not too long after Kyle attacked with Ian on his wheel.  David, Steven and I rolled through to chase as we dropped down the little drop 800 meters out.

I was sitting second wheel into the last corner (350 - 400 meters to go) when Steven came by with Richter on his wheel.  I was able to latch onto David's wheel when Steven jumped pretty hard but that's a long way to go. Then I noticed that Dave was getting gapped.

I was able to get around Dave, sit on Steven for a couple breaths, then go around him.  I didn't think I'd get to Kyle and Ian but I caught them (and went by them) pretty quickly.

Jamie finished at least a minute ahead of us.

Shawn won the field sprint for 9th pretty easily.