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Panoche Valley Road Race 45+ 123

Klein comes up BIG at Panoche Valley Road Race

Kevin Klein, Jay Klein & Hans Gouwens
A good weekend for IDTB, both at Wente & Panoche. Great work to all who raced, and congrats to those who placed well. Regarding the 45+123 at Panoche yesterday, the five of us, Arthur, Hans, Joe, Max, & myself had a successful race. No flats or other mishaps, and at 1,3,5,6,8 finishing positions, pretty sweet. Hans was to be the man for this race. From the start, Arthur took to pace setting. They let him have a little room a time or two, but, of course Arthur is known, and they didn’t allow that to continue. I went up to take a turn, looked back after a minute or so, and saw I’d been allowed to roll off the front. I thought, well okay, I guess I’ll be the sacrificial lamb, and do a little solo work. You know, it’s nice to be zero threat to the pack. No one cared, and I’m sure my teammates were back there keeping the friendly ride conversation going and the pace pedestrian. From there, it just became a game to see how long I could go before being caught, could I make it 1 h! our, could I make up around this next bend and still not see anyone behind me? There were no reports for the gap, so all just speculation, but I sensed, I was being given a big leash. This was confirmed from the guys afterwards. Sounds like the race didn’t really kick in until the climb up the pass leading to the turnaround. Guessing from where I saw everyone after the turnaround, I think I was allowed over 10 minutes. Still, even with that big allowance, when I started hitting the wind, I assumed it was just a matter of time before company arrived. Just worked to keep the effort steady, the calories and fluids coming in, and the game continuing. Made it 2 hours, can I make it 2.5? When I saw the 10k sign, I really thought the train was still going to catch me, but the game of seeing how long I could stay away began to change, I started to want more. If I got caught, could I still hang on for a good finish? When I saw 5k, and took a good look behind ! and still didn’t see anyone, I finally started to think maybe. Finally, at 1k, and still couldn’t see anyone coming from behind, I decided I was indeed going to be the recipient of this fine gift. This would not have happened had I not had 4 strong teammates discouraging the group behind. I’m certain, Kevin Klein in particular would have led the posse and hunted me down. Arthur and Hans kept him in check. Yea, Kevin came in ahead of Hans in their two man finish, but Hans didn’t put up much fight either. The generous thing to do after I’m sure wearing him down mentally and physically while trying to bridge. Sure, I’ll work, but with the following stipulations (: Very happy with our team’s results, and personally feeling really good bout the W; thank you teammates, it wouldn’t have happened without you. I’d be great if some of you could add some to how things went down. For me, no max heart rate, but a pretty decent average.

Thanks Jay,I’ll add a few lines since you didn’t see us all day 😉 We had 18 starters for a hot, windy ride in beautiful Panoche Valley. When Jay rolled away I figured that Sierra Pacific Racing or ArtsCyclery would put a guy at the front to set a tempo and at least keep Jay insight, but 2 miles into his solo effort Jay already had 1 min 35 and nobody in the group wanted to be at the front. Eric Saltzman (SJBC) won the race in 2010, was second to Larry Nolan in 2011 and seemed to be the only guy willing to set pace at the first main climb. His tempo was pretty mellow so nobody got dropped on the first climb. After that Rick Martyn (Max’s former team mate at VOS) attacked a few times, but we had no problem covering. Once we hit the flat section before the turnaround point it became clear Jay was nowhere to be seen and the two ArtCyclery guys Blake Reed and Patrick Hampton took turns attacking, but ! without any serious power to get away far enough from Arthur who pretty much shut everything down. Klein, Vetterli, and Martin were getting more and more frustrated and just before the nasty climb to the turnaround point Klein found a friend in Vetterli. Vetterli attacked first which wasn’t very convincing, but when Klein countered it was full gas. Arthur got on his wheel, while I let a gap open and forced Saltzman, Reed, and Vetterli to lead the group up the climb. Once Arthur and Klein had a good gap I jumped across. This is where the race really started.As soon as we did our 180 degree turn Kevin Klein, Arthur, and myself kept the pace high to get back over the climb to maintain our 8-10 second lead. Halfway up the climb Arthur fell off the pace, while Klein powered through. I was barely able to stay on his wheel, but managed to survive and recover some on the down hill. Since Jay was way up the road I was happy to work with Klein to stay away from the chasers behind us, but I made it clear to him that if we were to see Jay that I couldn’t work with him any longer. 

The next 30 miles became a cat-and-mouse game to make sure I could stay ahead of the chase group (Reed, Vetterli, a Pacific guy, while Arthur and Max got a free ride) while making sure we wouldn’t catch Jay.Klein initially yelled at me for not going fast enough, but finally understood that I couldn’t work with him any more than needed to stay ahead of others. When it became clear that Jay was going to win we actually had a very civil 2 man time trail. I even told him that I would start my sprint early because I don’t have a sprint and that he could come around anytime.  
I’m such a nice guy 😉  What a fun day in the sun!

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