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Knights Ferry RR 45+ 123 ThirstyBear team lead out Joe Amon to take 4th

Joe Amon – Close but no Cigar!
For all those who raced today – Duane, Hans, Gardie, Brenon, Dan, Holger, Oddva – sorry, if I’m forgetting some important detail. I’m terrible at race reports.

So we get to Knights Ferry with at least an hour’s time to suit up and get ready.  All’s good. Until somehow the keys get locked in the car. Hans is down the road in his running shoes, and most of Duane’s gear is still in the car. Duane’s on the phone with AAA and time is ticking by. Finally he agrees to let me try and smash his window so we can race, and we’ll all split the cost of the replacement. I grab a rock the size of a papaya, smack the window pretty hard and, to my disbelief, nothing. So I wind up and smack it even harder and it just feels like plexiglass, I can see it flex. No go. By now people are walking by and commenting, what the hell are you guys doing, as I take repeated blows at the glass and am unable to break it. Then a guy comes over with a pair of vice grips acting like I’m some kind of pussy and he tries whacking it a couple of times, to no avail. Finally I realize if you hit a window on the corner, that’s how they blow. Sure enough, with 10 minutes to go, we suit up and line up for the race.

Masters 45+ 1/2/3 started with a field of about 50 guys, 8 of ‘em Thirsty Bear. With that many in the field, we had to do something and the whole race, we sure did. When I say we, I mean They ‘cause I just sat in. It was just constant attacks, mostly TB, but every time other teams would shut it down.  I think there were enough sprinters that had teammates to keep things in check.

About halfway through the 87-mile race, even though the terrain is pretty flat we had managed to lose half the field. The whole race TB was attacking, trying to form breaks. I’m not sure if there was a single break attempt that didn’t have a TB in it. And then with about 6 miles to go TB went to the front and just kept the pace high, to discourage more attacks.  We averaged 24 miles an hour over the whole race.

It’s not my kind of sprint finish. It’s a bit too big of a hill for me, but at some point Brenon came around, told me to get on his wheel and he just drilled it. With about 100 to go, Don Langley shot by us with the guy that got second and Dan Shore who ended up getting 3rd, but they had so much momentum I wasn’t able to get right onto Dan’s wheel. I closed the gap down but only right at the finish line and didn’t have enough road to come around. I‘m actually pretty happy with 4th place considering how strong a lot of those riders were, but I do feel like I let the team down a little bit, the way everyone worked so hard the whole race and then that amazing lead-out and I didn’t podium.

Joe Amon.


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