Bend’s Serena Bishop Gordon, was relatively clean when she rolled across the finish line in 1:40:51, despite passing (or being passed by) men who started in the waves before or after hers.
“This year they staggered the start five minutes instead of three minutes, and it made a huge difference,” Bishop Gordon said. “Although we have to wait at the starting line for a little longer, I think it’s better, especially on a course like this where there aren’t a lot of places to pass. If you catch a big group of people, it’s hard. But today was good.”
Bishop Gordon, who is 36 but raced with the number 22 written on her calf where cyclists typically note their age, previously won the Stampede in 2011 and 2012 and was the runner-up in last year’s race. While Bishop Gordon has become a fixture on the Sisters Stampede award podium, race director Mike Ripley said up to 60 percent of the riders were competing in the Stampede for the first time. The 500-rider field sold out three days before the race.
“It’s funny, in a race like this there’s a bunch of people that you don’t recognize,” Bishop Gordon said. “That’s cool, but you also don’t know how things are going to shake out, so I was trying to be patient until I could see what was happening.”
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