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100 racers take on Portland’s Tour of Flanders

Posted by on April 9th, 2007 at 8:02 am

The mysterious, Portland version of the Tour of Flanders sparked lots of interest last week.

Finishers atop Council Crest.
Photo by Dave Roth (more here)

I wasn’t able to make it, but from what I’ve heard over 100 people showed up to challenge the brutal route through the hills of west Portland. I still haven’t found any photos, but I did notice that local racer/framebuilder Ira Ryan had this to say about it:

“Oh my god! So hard. We started out riding up Saltzman and then back in on Skyline. Raining off and on as we turned up Brynwood and within 10 meters about 1/3 of the riders were walking. So steep. John Leonard muscled over the top in his 39-23! The burn was intense as riders were dropping off the back like paratroopers.”

So what’s the scoop? If you were there, I’d love to know how it went.

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  • Tom Boonen April 9, 2007 at 8:34 am

    That was major. The climbs were every bit as hard as advertised. I was expecting a mellow pace at least up Saltzman. No way. It was hard and fast from beginning to end. Congrats to everyone who finished the whole ride. See you out their next year. Oh, and that Ballan guy got lucky.

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  • erikv April 9, 2007 at 8:48 am

    It was an epic ride, as expected. If it’s put on next year, you’ve got to attend. Amazing.

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  • Matt F April 9, 2007 at 9:25 am

    This was tought! But fun! It was like an urban adventure. We road on all types of terrain: from fireroads in Forest Park, to a hairy descent down Burnside, to a singletrack trail somewhere in the West Hills. I don’t race or train so for me the goal was just to finish. And after 5 and 1/2 hours I finished with a friend I met on the ride Michael. I’m pretty sure we were the last people to finish…as no one was up at Council Crest park when we got up there. Anyway, thanks for the folks that put this together!

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  • Frank April 9, 2007 at 10:10 am

    It was a hell of a sight. I’d expected a couple of dozen crazies, but there were 100 strong heading for the hills in the rain – this is a great place!
    And it was a GREAT ride. There is no f’ing way this won’t become a regular event in Portland – perhaps with a few nods to legality in the future if we have the 200+ riders I predict next year. Hugh and Brad, thanks for creating this classic and save a few signed posters to sell on e-bay in 20 years to cover your retirement.

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  • Dave April 9, 2007 at 10:12 am

    I took some photos at the end of the ride up on Council Crest, and posted them on my web site. Some of them turned out looking pretty good, despite the rain and wind trying to tear the camera out of my hands.

    Check out my photo gallery at

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  • Jonathan Maus April 9, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Thanks Dave! I’ve added one of them to the story.

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  • DR April 9, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Ballan who? The real important question question is: who was the first up Council Crest? Leonard? Hott Sam? Ira? It should be recorded for posterity. And I want to buy them a Westmalle Tripel.

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  • Tony Pereira April 9, 2007 at 11:07 am

    I knew I shoulda…oh well. I’m not as tough as all y’all. Nice work John Dorfer on the fixie!

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  • Evil April 9, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    A fixie? Madness. I rode to Boring and then sat on the couch. You were in my heart, though, tough, crazy bastards.

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  • Joel April 9, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Race? Nah…it was fun just grinding it out like a Mountain Bike ride. This kind of event is what I love about Portland-nice energy, loose organic feel, everybody watching out for each other, not one hint of whining, and amazing array of back streets and secret “squirrel routes” linked together…Our group of 5-8 had a blast (Slaven, Dani, Ward, Kate, Potestio, Brice, Paul, and various others)… I would definitely saddle up the SingleSpeed again-to much fun! BTW what was the hurry?

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  • dacrizzow April 7, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    this is what portland cycling is all about. suffering, laughing,rogue riding and crappy weather. first time i ever walked a road bike up a hill and first time i ever used my granny ring. humiliated, humbled and proud. i\’ll be back next year.

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