2003 Cascade Classic Race Report
By Ben Popp
June 9, 2003
A record field showed up for a rain threatened 2003 edition
of the Cascade Classic in Osceola, Wisconsin on Saturday.
The large field (130+) was unable to keep the race together
as the winner came from a small group of escapees. What seemed
like an ill fated escape with 25 miles still to go, the group
containing neo-pro Adam Bergman (Jelly Belly), Jeremy Sertain
(Grand Performance), and eventual winner Paul Ellis (Grand
Performance) never came back. Pursued by a peleton that seemed
a bit unwilling to chase whole heartedly, the group which
never had more than a minute lead and withstood a last minute
fury of attempts to bring the group back together, eventually
winning by nearly a 1/2 minute.
The rolling hills of western Wisconsin quickly shrank the
race field into a lead pack of 30-35 riders by mile 15. After
repeated attacks and a large crash, a group of six went away
around mile 15 powered by Sartain, Bergman and Ellis who quickly
shed their three companions and worked well together, staying
away to the end. With 3-4 high horsepower teams well represented
in the main pack, as well as riders the caliber of Dewey Dickey
present, it seemed as though the break would soon come back.
However, the pack was never able to organize a solid chase
effort. The three leaders rolled across the line with Ellis
taking the victory. With no steps on the podium left, the
bunch sprint wound up more than a 1,000 meters out, and combined
with narrowing roads and a field unpleased about not being
able to bring back the break, the dash to the line was a bit
uneventful and not hotly contested with Tone Coughlin winning
by a bike length.
Groups continued to flow in over the next hour and everyone
seemed to have a great time. Yet another Wisport event went
off with flying colors. A huge thanks to the race organizers,
Osceola, I-timing, and of course all the volunteers -- great
About the author...
Ben Popp has been racing since his teens and last
year combined with another rider to win the two-man
team title in the Race Across America (RAAM). In the
winter, he has raced to top Birkie finishes as part
of the Skinnyski.com Racing Team. Popp's latest adventure
is working for Bicycle
Sports, a leader in cycling positioning, aerodynamics
and new technology. Stop in and see him at their brand-new
store in St. Paul at 1144 Grand Ave.