Sprint Superstar Joe Amon is back! Winning at Modesto RR 45+ 123
Modesto Road Race
Masters 45+ 1/2/3
About 50 guys. Hot and windy. Six laps, 60 or so miles. No teammates.
This was my first race back after a yoga-injury earlier this year that had me off the bike for almost three months. Fucking yoga.
Hunter Ziesing told me before the race that he and Chris Courtney were going to try and split the field any chance they got, given the many crosswind sections. And sure enough, from the gun, Hunter and a few others attack. I pause and wait for wheels to jump on, knowing that my fitness is not so good, and this happens several times in the first three laps.
I’m starting to feel all the surges and I let the next break go. Sure enough it’s got most teams represented, and I just don’t feel strong enough to bridge up to it. There’s 10 guys in the break, and they just start pulling away and no one is responding. It probably takes us a lap to get organized and figure out who doesn’t have someone in the break. It turns out Kouvaris and Cortex don’t, so 2 Cortex, 2 Kouvaris, 1 other guy (can’t remember his team) and I start working well together.
The break is 45 seconds up the road and we just hold that. It goes up and down, 35 to 45 seconds for two laps. I’m skipping pulls every third or fourth time ‘cause my back’s cramping. I’m telling one of the Cortex guys, I’m not going to be able to keep this up much longer. And then in the confusion of passing other fields and dropped riders, suddenly we’re right on them. They were surprised to see us again. Hunter did say after the race that some of the guys were talking about how everyone was represented, so no one would be chasing.
With only one lap left I start to think oh, I can totally hang on for another lap. Shut up, back.
The whole last lap I’m just hanging on to the surges and hoping I can hang on for a sprint. Every acceleration I’m getting gapped and then I just decide that if I let this gap get any bigger, it’s just over, so I manage to close them down. Once I get to a couple K to go, I realize that this is going to come down to a sprint, and I’m going to be able to hang on and do whatever it takes.
From the previous laps, I knew that it needed to be a patient sprint given the headwind. I wouldn’t want to be too close to the front in the final 90-degree left-hand turn, which leaves you with 800 meters dead-straight to the finish.
So going into that final left, I slid back a few spots into about 10th position and just waited patiently while guys were drilling it on the front, into the wind. After the first few guys burned out, I was about 5thwheel when we got inside 100 meters, and I just pulled out into the wind and gave it everything I had. To my surprise I was pulling around all the guys, expecting guys to come shooting around me because it didn’t feel like the best sprint, but I got it by about half a bike-length.
Results page: http://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2013-1423