Thursday, August 16, 2007

Patterson Pass

Patterson Pass is one of the coolest road races I've done. The climb is really hard and very windy. It has a mix of steep pitches and flatter gradients, but it's a long enough climb to get rid of the bigger guys. The interesting thing about it is it's super windy, so it almost neutralizes the race going up it.
I raced it in the cat 3's and we crawled up that thing the first 2 laps. The finish of the climb on the steep part was fast and guys would attack, but everything came back together going down the other side. The first time up I was too far back, so on the down hill I was at the back. Super scary. I'm used to big crowds after Nats and l'Abitibi, but still, that descent is really fast. Not very technical but fast, and with 3's not very fun. So the next 2 laps I was at the front for the climb and therefore at the front for the descending.
With 2 to go I didn't grab a bottle and I think that's what cooked me for the finish. By the 3rd lap I was really thirsty with no water. I got another bottle from dad, but I think I was screwed at that point.
Going up Patterson the last time I felt really strong. It was weird cause the first part of the race I was not in good shape but as the race progressed I seemed to come alive. The last lap was pretty chill till half way up, then a guy from AC put in some fierce attacks which split things up to about 8 in the leading group. It came back cause no one pulled through and kept the pace high. There was still a good 10 minutes left till the really steep section at the top so everybody calmed out.
Same thing happened at the top. AC man went and 2 guys grabbed his wheel. I was the 4th dude and only one to stick with him. Counter attacks came after he sat down and I was with those. Only three made it over the top in the lead, but with 5 seconds, so back to square 1 all over again.
The climb up the Wente decent was the one that really hurt. No wind and only slight gradient. Right at the bottom I was second wheel when here comes Ace again with another killer move. I was there but he didn't stop the pressure. All the way to the top he drilled it and popped dudes right and left.
I actually got dropped myself right when you hit the last steep part before the top. I just couldn't climb all of a sudden. The same thing happened at Nationals RR going up the last climb to the finish. There were still at least 25 guys left and I had to ride my own pace. I ended up catching dropped riders and passing them to end up in the lead chase group at the top where you make the left hander. That's what happened all over again. I couldn't ride that fast and had to slow down. I passed 3 guys and ended up getting on the group with only one of the 3 on my wheel.
So going down to the finish with that horrible tail wind there where 10 riders in the lead group, 3 of them juniors. Spin, spin, spin your gears gently down the road! Ya, it sucked. I normally have really good recovery time on descents and am ready to rock on the next climb, but I was hurting all the way till our last uno k climb right before the finish. When we hit it an attack was in store for us from Ace. ICCCCCCC was on his wheel and everybody else except the juniors and one guy from Easton. A slow crawl over the top and down to the finish. I out sprinted the boys I was with for 7th. Not bad, but I was getting 7th at Coperopolis, and Wente back in April so I should be winning 3's races right now. I guess time will tell.

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