Modesto Road Race Report: By Dean Pogni
64 racers. 40 P12’s and 24 Cat 3s starting together.
Coretechs – 5 riders
Squadra – 4
Lux Development – 4
Ritte/POC – 3
Lots of small teams of 2 or 3 guys
A windy and pancake flat road race in the farmland of Modesto. I was able to pick up my number the day before at the Modesto Downtown Crit, which allowed me to arrive much closer to the start time. I lined up at the front but learned there would be a 20 minute delay. My warmup was out the window, but I did get to chat with Evelyn Stevens. She and another UCI pro woman would be racing with us and had just come from winning the Woman’s Tour of California TT.
My plan was to get into the race winning breakaway. Judging by the mix of small teams, I knew this would be difficult. Throughout the race, I made sure to watch that the right mix of teams were in the break attempts. Anything with out the proper representation of teams would surely be chased down or bridged.
I started up front following attacks trying to get into an early break. With lots of small teams, everything was chased down. On lap two, a seven man break stuck and quickly got a minute gap on us. I attempted to bridge tons of times but the group kept chasing everything down or the team guys would only do enough work to close a gap.
Magically, the elastic broke at mile 53 and four of us got free. I set the pace, vocalized how we should pull and which way to rotate in the wind. I took some very hard pulls and my chase-mates lost some steam toward the end. It appeared that the break lost steam as well and we finally bridged up after a full lap (20 minutes). When we showed up, the break was pretty shelled. One not-so-hard attack even shook a few riders off the back.
I sat in paying attention to who was fresh for the final sprint. Coretech and Integrity both had 2 guys, I figured they could attack and counter attack us, but apparently they were too tired. I felt good enough to attack, but figured my chances were best to save it for a sprint. Before the final drag, someone went way early solo, leaving us looking around to see who would jump first. I had positioned myself down wind from most of the group, waiting for someone to jump. My problem was, Willy Meyers had the same idea and was also down wind from me. He jumped with 300m to go and I followed. He had a bike length on me with 100m to go which I brought down to a 1/4 wheel length at the finish line.
Won $10 & a T-shirt.