THE DALLES — Youth ruled the day in the men’s Pro/1/2 race of the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic Friday as six-time junior cyclocross National Champion Logan Owen, who turned 16 just last week, took the stage 1 win from a small breakaway group that formed just minutes into the 75-mile race. 

Owen,who rides for Seattle’s Hagens Berman cycling team, initiated the all-day breakaway with another rider and was soon joined by seven more escapees, including two Team Oregon/Laurelwood riders and one rider eachfrom Bob’s Bicycles, Keller Rohrback, Yahoo!, Audi, Garage Racing and Word-RCB. The breakaway built a lead of as much as 1:40 before whittlingitself down to eight by dislodging the Bob’s rider on the second lap. The Garage Racing rider was the next to go, and a broken spoke paired the leaders down to six going through the feedzone on the third lap withan advantage of about 2:30.

The attacks and counter attacks came in flurries on the last lap, with Owen and Team Oregon/Laurelwood ridersChris Swan and Eli Romer gaining a 15-second advantage over the final climb before the long descent and then a mostly flat run into the finish. The trio pressed its advantage down the descent — except for thefact that Owen, as a 16-year-old, had spun out his 48-13 restricted junior gearing.

“The Laurelwood guys weren’t too happy with me,” Owen said. “But I tried my best to go down that descent. Sorry about the48-13. They were asking me if I was going to pimp them at the line. I just told them I was doing what it takes to win. And I’m trying to get down this hill just as fast as you are.”

Despite the lead trio’s efforts, the riders they had dropped on the last climb, including Word-RCB’s Jake Hansen and Audi’s Shawn Onger, charged back and regainedcontact just before the final sweeping corner back toward the finish atPetersburg School. Hansen immediately went to the front and led the group through the last right-hander before the long drag to the finish. It proved to be the perfect lead out for Owen.

“I followed (Hansen) and hit it right out of the corner for 300 meters, maybe 350,” Owen said. “I opened up a two-second gap from there.”

Owen won with enough time to post up a one-handed victory salute. Ongers nipped Hansen and Swan at the line for second an instant later, with Hansen picking up the final podium spot.

Owen now takes a two-second advantage into Saturday’s time trial, where the junior phenom doesn’t expect to bring home another stage win but hopes to ride well enough to keep alive his hopes for an overall win.

“I’m obviously not the best time trialist here, but it’ll play out,” he said. “I’m hoping to hang onto maybe a top-five spot. But there are guys like (Audi’s) Ian McKissick who will probably beat me. I’m hoping to conserve like a minute to them, that way I’ll have a chance to gain back some time in the crit or road race. The last stage seems to suit me pretty well. I like climbing.”


CBCC Stage 1
April 1

Pro/1/2 Men
1. Logan Owen (Hagens Berman) 2:59.30
2. Shawn Onger (Audi) same time
3. Jake Hansen (Word-RCB) same time
4. Chris Swan (Team Oregon/Laurelwood) same time

5. Eli Romer (Team Oregon/Laurelwood) +:02