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May. 21, 2009
JD Wins one in Modesto for Team Clif Bar Cycling

Over here in Northern California the race season is really kicking into gear.

Just the other day I mentioned to Eric that, to me, the real NorCal race season always starts with the Wente race weekend. From that point forward it’s on.

Well, for me it’s not. I’m still recovering from snapping my femur in two, so it’s fortunate that the guys on the team seem more than happy to pick up the slack and rip it at the races. JD just took the win at the Modesto Crit last Saturday and then Aaron followed that one up with a 6th in Sunday’s road race. Here’s JD’s race report:

So here's how it all played out in Modesto this weekend.

Sat. at the crit: Doran, Eric, JD, Joe, and Josh all threw down to make sure every potential break that went off the front of the 50 man pro1/2 field had at least one Clif Bar rider in it.

The six corner L shaped course was made even more brutal by the 95 degree heat that was oppressing the whole central valley. After 40 minutes of constant attacks from the field a promising break started to form up the road, being driven by the ever present and super-strong Chad Gerlach.

It was my turn to go, so I put in a big acceleration to try to bridge across. After half a lap at full gas and only making it 3/4 of the way across to the dwindling break, I looked back under my arm and saw that I had one rider with me and then a big gap back to the peloton. I flicked my elbow and saw John Wilk come through to work with me even though he had a teammate among the five guys up the road.

Fortunately he though having two guys out of seven would be better for their team than one out of five. The two of us stayed at full gas for two full laps before catching the break, just as three more bridged up behind us with a couple of guys who had been dropped from the original group of five.

The ten of us worked well to stretch the gap out to over 20 seconds at which point we all started to look at each other and stop working as smoothly, due to the various fitness and fatigue levels present in the break. This is where the work of the rest of the Clif guys back in the peloton, keeping any chase from getting organized, saved my skin. With five laps to go I decided to park myself on the wheel of Brian Bosch, who is a crack sprinter and had two teammates in the group to work for him. This worked well for me until one lap to go, as I was able to recover well and get ready for the sprint.

Through the first corner (last lap) when we were still at the back of the group I decided to switch to the wheel of my teammate from last year, Aaron Cox, as he has been riding super strong, and had some better position. Bosch ended up coming with me and fighting for Aaron's wheel until two corners to go. At the second-to-last corner, Chad attacked hard, with Aaron jumping after him with just a second’s hesitation. I was glued to Aaron's wheel perfectly and started to pass him just as he was catching Chad. I got by Aaron cleanly and started to pass Chad on the inside of the final corner. We both stood up to sprint and as the line approached we were neck and neck. With my final bike throw I was able to get my first ever P1/2 win - and boy did it feel good.

Sunday at the RR: Aaron, Josh and I put together a solid team effort to get Aaron his first top ten of the year. After a super satisfying day on Saturday I was amped for a repeat performance Sunday. While we missed the early break of six guys, that managed to get a 40 second lead halfway through the race, Team Clif Bar did a really well organized high speed chase with only a little help from a couple of solo riders to pull the break back within one 9 mile lap. After that Aaron managed to find the winning break and ride away to the finish. Cramps took Aaron out of the sprint, but he managed to hang on for a well deserved 6th.

All in all a super satisfying weekend of racing in Modesto.
Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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