Patterson Pass Road Race: big climbs, fast safe descents, a few technical corners and big winds. Racing in the wind on a course with lots of climbs is fun.
Lap 1: Wind. Attacks on the big climb that goes from the start. Nobody could get away because the hill is steep and the wind was strong. Started with a field of 35 riders.
Lap 2: More wind, more attacks that were neutralized. On the climb I talked to Andres, and said “what about the switchback climb on the back?” 20 mins later we both attacked hard, got caught and immediately attacked again and got away with 8 others (10 total). This is when the race got fun! Almost everyone worked together, except for a few dolts who couldn’t figure it out. As we turned around the loop, the headwind became a tailwind; at one point I was spinning out in my 53×11 at 40mph, going uphill. Motorcycle said we had a gap of 40 seconds, then 30, then 20, then we started lap 3…
Lap 3: More wind. Several solid attacks on the climb immediately following the feed zone. Phipps attacked HARD near the top into the worst wind, on the steepest section (20%). I was burying myself to stay on his wheel when I felt the twinges of quad, calf and hamstring cramps. Decided I should back off a little or risk exploding. I let a gap open but nobody else was close either. He had a 20 second gap over the top. Our group of 9 became 6, huffing and puffing in single file by the crest of the climb. I tail gunned, tried to let the legs recover, drank and drank and drank, and pulled through when I could.
Finish: On the last rise before the finish Phipps attacked twice but couldn’t get away, Andres attacked with authority and it stuck. Craig pulled around the final corner (yelling at everyone to help…) back into the headwind with me on his wheel. It was too windy and I was too worked to have any kind of respectable sprint. I held on for 3rd in our bunch, 4th in the race since Andres stayed away.
Special thanks to Jesse’s dad Joe Smith for handups and loaning me reg money (whoops).