Muscle up California: The Cascade Cycling Classic is for gladiators

The 2016 Cascade Cycling Classic will not be won by the rider with the freakiest time trial bike or V02 max. Not this year. It will be won by the grittiest gladiator who can climb, sprint, crush and handle his rig. Think Peter Sagan.

We shortened the time trial to 9 miles. Up 4.5 miles, down 4.5 miles.  Skyliner has been repaved. Glassy smooth. Big ring up. Rocket down at speeds of up to 50 mph. Course records will be shattered.

Nobody likes a stage race in which the fastest time trialist can spank the bell curve and then sit nonchalantly on his massive lead in the mass start stages and barely engage. Not this year. We want to see action. We want to see every stage contested by hungry wolves who smell fresh meat.

So we beefed up the time bonuses. 25 seconds for first. 17 for second. 10 for third. If you fall off the lead in the road stage, or have a sub par time trial, you can still win the overall. But it will take grit, as it should.

The Cascade Lakes mountain stage is not tailor made for whippets. It’s for hammer dogs.  The final climb is roughly 1,200 feet  over 7 miles– sounds ouchy – but the grade hovers between 1.5 and 3 percent. There’s a few pitches where the road rises to 7 percent, but hey, it’s the beautiful Cascade Mountains. When the going gets tough, imagine inhaling fresh oxygen released from melting 1,000 year old glaciers.

Sign up today. California – we challenge you to suit up, gear up and man up. The Oregon boys are all gawt-awful furred up and ready to defend the homeland. We created new categories: 35-39, 40-49, and 50 plus. The first two categories will race together. Jersies abound. Cash – it’s real. $9,000 purse.

Register now by clicking here. Plus all the usual categories: Cat 3, 4 and 2 men, and Cat 3-4 women.

More to follow, but there’s this too: Worthy Brewing will be honoring legendary former Labor Power “dream crusher” Chris Hipp, who died 7 years ago, just two days before entering the 2009 CCC.  He wasn’t a climber. He didn’t own a TT bike. He was gritty. He just wanted to crush the criterium, which we all know is one of the hottest crits with the best fans around.

Worthy is brewing a special batch of Captain Nimrod’s Pound-Flail Ale to celebrate the “Hipp Star.”  All racers get a free pint.

As Chris Hipp would’ve cackled: Drink up. Dream on. And get ready to pound. And flail. Epically.

All proceeds to the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation, a 501©(3) non-profit.  For more information, contact Molly Cogswell-Kelly, at

For more information about the Worthy World Masters Cup component of the 37th Annual Regence Cascade Cycling Classic, please click here.

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