Patterson Pass RR (E4)

In the photo: Mathias Jacquelin

Written by Mathias

Patterson Pass was one of my most anticipated road races of the season. More than three hours of climbing, heat, and headwind is just something you can’t say no to. 

The course has two main climbs. Patterson Pass is the hard one, which is steep, deceiving with its fake summit, and with a terrible headwind at the top, comes early in the lap. Flynn road is a fast rolling climb and is a baby climb compared to Patterson Pass. Flynn is followed by two fast rolling sections: Altamont pass road and Midway road.

Team Mike’s Bikes Dev was represented by two courageous riders, Ingmar Jungnickel and myself. Despite the elements being against him, Ingmar proved that his nerves were made of steel, beat the traffic and got to the start line in time.

I was hoping to force the selection up Patterson Pass early in the race. To my despair, people were just piling up at the front on Patterson Pass during the first lap, so I tried to increase the pace a bit. I was immediately followed by the bunch, drafting while I was fighting a gruesome headwind. We made it to the top and Ingmar went ahead and protected me in the descent. We then dropped back a little bit on Flynn Road to let other people work. At the end of lap 1, three riders went up the road, but it was still to early to join them for my taste. 

Second time up Patterson was still slow. Again, I was thinking of accelerating at some point, but this time without letting people draft. So I waited a lot more and placed an attack right at the end of Patterson Pass. Only one rider followed me, we started the descent without going too hard because the gap wasn't big enough and I knew I couldn't last 1.5 laps off the front. By the time we hit Altamont Pass road, Ingmar took things in charge and led the chase. I was constantly in his wheel (Well, as much as I could because my German companion is crazy fast !). We finally caught the guys somewhere on Midway.

Bell lap, excitement and dreams of glory. Third time up Patterson Pass was the moment I had decided to give everything. I didn’t want people to just sit and cruise peacefully through the climb. I went on the front and set the pace high. The peloton was stretched, and I constantly had a Union CC rider in my wheel. I tested him and did a couple of “elastic” acceleration. At some point, I think he was just done and had trouble coming back in my wheel, as we hit the fake summit of Patterson Pass. Another rider placed an attack at the beginning of the final steep portion of Patterson Pass. I counter-attacked to overtake him, turned back and saw that the field was far. I thus went into TT mode on this last climbing stretch, went downhill almost entirely on the top tube. Coming back up Flynn Road, I committed to give another push cause I knew I could hurt the pack and increase my gap here. Altamont Pass road was pure management effort. I knew the odds started to be in my favor since during the previous lap, Ingmar was the only one working. Turning on Midway, I could not see the pack. 

I finished solo with a decent gap on the field. Good day !
A big thanks to my teammate, our sponsors, and TMB Dev.