Pacocha Bides His Time, Then Escapes to Win Masters 30-34 – Updated: Photo Gallery
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At the gun, Eric Rasmussen (KUHL) threw himself off the front and quickly gained a comfortable solo lead over chasers Mathew Pacocha (Hudz-Subaru), Weston Schempf (Charm City Cycling LLC) and Ryan Leech (Hilton Head Cycling). The riders caught Rasmussen after he bobbled near the run-up, and for a few moments the four rode together.
Soon, however, Pacocha decided it was time to assert himself and launched a powerful attack that would see him soloing all the way to the finish, crossing the line over forty seconds ahead of the next in line. “I just tried to ride smooth the whole race,” said Pacocha. “I just took it out hard, and kinda stayed calm, waited to see how long they were gonna go, and then I just kept riding my own speed. I got a little worried when they kept saying I wasn’t the fastest guy out there, so I thought I was getting caught.”
“The course eats up all your power, which was a mental battle for me to just keep going, honestly. Over here [by the brewery] it was just brutal. Sloggy and soupy and and power-sucking.”
“I’m excited about returning to defend next year,” Pacocha said. He plans on forgoing UCI racing next season to focus on Masters in Louisville.
The big battle of the race was for second place. Cody Peterson passed Eric Rasmussen on the second lap to move into third and set off after Schempf. “Some lines opened up that I didn’t expect – I was able to maneuver through the field,” said Peterson. He then moved ahead of Schmepf and held a slim margin until the Mid-Atlantic rider pulled out all the stops in the final minutes of the race. Schempf chose to run the thick grassy and muddy slog towards the stairs and briefly passed Peterson as they battled to be first on the stairs. Peterson upped the pace, and regained a tenuous lead, then Schempf outkicked him on the pavement.
“That was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time,” said Schempf. “Just trying to stay upright. Once I saw Matt [Pacocha] get away, that was pretty much the end, we were racing for second place.
“I saw he was pretty strong in the thick stuff,” Schempf said of Peterson on the last lap. “But he was using a lot of energy and when we got to the straights, he was bogging down so I figured what the heck, why not run it, see what happens, no harm no foul.
“I feel I saved some energy because he was really struggling to get out there. So when I saw him on the stairs, he was suffering, so I tried to punch it. I took a smoother line, took the high side on that thing and cut him off a little bit. It’s my last year in this category, so I get to do it all over again next year!”
“[Schempf] got me at the end,” said Peterson. “I gave everything I could and he out rode me at the end of the last lap.”
“I gave it everything I had,” he continued. “So I’m happy with that. He was running it towards the stairs – when I saw that, I was worried, because I knew that he was going to do better on the steps than me. I was suffering on the steps, it wasn’t quite steep enough for the power I have. I think mentally he got me there a little bit, but I just kept trying. I tried to go into the big ring where he passed me [on the final stretch of grass], and that’s where I fell back.”
Peterson’s relatively new to cyclocross, and his fellow Bend resident, Canadian national cyclocross champion Chris Sheppard, was the one who got him started. Sheppard was out cheering on his teammate, and at one point got so excited running around and trying to snap photos that he dropped his camera in the mud. “Sheppard was the first guy to give me a shot as a Pro mountain biker about 10 years ago, so I was super-excited when he thought of me for the Rocky Mountain cyclocross team,” said Peterson.
Peterson chose to run tubeless, which he said he likes, but he did flat one in the singlespeed race. “It cost me a podium spot. I like the tubeless system. As a mountain bike racer, it really makes sense to run tubeless – I’m not a tubular guy, I hate running those things,” he said.
One racer who had a superb ride was fourth place finisher Damian Schmitt, who had a huge following cheering for him here at Bend –including two vocal women with blue satin capes who led a group running alongside Schmitt on the grass section after the stairs. We caught up with him to hear about his race.
“I had a great start,” he said, “and we came through the grass by Deschutes Brewery where my supporters are at the Sunnyside tent, we rounded the corner and I was riding the grass lines, and I hit one of the stakes. I pre-rode it with Adam Myerson, and we talked about it – the fastest lines are along the stakes, but the risks are hitting them, and I did it, right on the first lap and I went sliding on my back. I kind of thought it was over on the first lap, and 10 or 12 guys passed me.
“I just started riding hard, I kept riding the tape, and not everyone was doing that. I’d find little patches of grass and move a few pedal strokes faster and close some ground. I felt really fast after the pavement, after turn 1 all along the pits and the off-cambers after the pits where there were some falls.
“If you’d asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would’ve said that I thought I’d win this race. But after Portland I was a little down – Matt and Josh Snead were way ahead of me at the GPs. So, I was hoping for a top 10. I was calm all week, and I think that played a part, and I live five minutes away.
“The local factor was amazing, I had so many friends out here from in town, or from Portland that know me now. That wall of sound – every time up the stairs, I could barely move my legs, but I knew I had to take two stairs at a time and make my way to the front. That left line along the tape after the stairs was really fast, and if you just cut right for that corner you’d have a really good line for the pavement. [This is the same line that Baker took to win the 35-39 race]
“I’ve done Masters Nats twice, once in Kansas City and once here, and both times I met with mechanicals after riding good races. I felt like I’d won, I was so excited.”
|1||150||Matthew Pacocha (1 – Cat1)||Boulder, CO||278||Hudz-Subaru|
|2||135||Weston Schempf (2 – Cat1)||Bethesda, MD||203||Charm City Cycling LLC|
|3||120||Cody Peterson (3 – Cat1)||Bend, OR||215|
|4||Exp||Damian Schmitt||Bend, OR||226|
|5||90||John Curry (4 – Cat1)||Bozeman, MT||247||Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik Archite|
|6||85||Josh Snead (5 – Cat1)||Larkspur, CA||248|
|7||80||Ryan Leech (6 – Cat1)||Savannah, GA||239||Hilton Head Cycling|
|8||75||Brett Nichols (7 – Cat1)||Garden City, ID||206||Trek Mountain Co-op|
|9||70||Brue Syvertsen (1 – Cat2)||San Francisco, CA||265||MURDER|
|10||65||Jared Nieters (8 – Cat1)||Haymarket, VA||281||Haymarket Bicycles|
|11||60||Jesse Rients||Shakopee, MN||205|
|12||55||Davy Yeater (9 – Cat1)||Portland, OR||263||River City Bicycles / Cannondale|
|13||50||Adam Driscoll (10 – Cat1)||Halethorpe, MD||270||Adventures for the Cure|
|14||45||Krishna Dole (2 – Cat2)||San Mateo, CA||255|
|15||40||Eric Rasmussen (11 – Cat1)||Bountiful, UT||241||KUHL|
|16||38||Brandon Gritters (12 – Cat1)||Mission Viejo, CA||231||Rock N Road|
|17||36||Ross Brody (1 – Cat3)||Salem, OR||221|
|17||36||Justin Morejohn (2 – Cat3)||Davis, CA||277||Davis Bike Club|
|19||32||Seth Patla (13 – Cat1)||Hillsboro, OR||234|
|20||30||Ty Kady (3 – Cat2)||Brea, CA||269|
|21||28||Wiley Mosley (4 – Cat2)||Austin, TX||272||North American Velo|
|22||26||Luke DeMoe (3 – Cat3)||Eugene, OR||225|
|23||24||Matthew Fox (14 – Cat1)||Bend, OR||208|
|24||22||Paul LaCava (5 – Cat2)||Portland, OR||254|
|25||20||Matthew Wills (15 – Cat1)||Portland, OR||204|
|26||19||Christopher Fisher (16 – Cat1)||Inver Grove Hieghts, MN||236||velorochester|
|27||18||Matthew Pronovost (6 – Cat2)||Steamboat Springs, CO||271||Steamboat Velo p/d MOOTS|
|28||17||Matt Russell (4 – Cat3)||Bend, OR||232|
|29||16||John Frey (7 – Cat2)||Bend, OR||252||Hutch’s Westside Bend OR|
|30||15||Benjamin Rathkamp (8 – Cat2)||Bellingham, WA||279||Shuksan Velo Club/Fanatik Bike Co.|
|31||14||Benjamin Dodge (9 – Cat2)||San Jose, CA||260||Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club|
|32||13||Daniel Miller (5 – Cat3)||Columbia, MO||249||Columbia Bike Club Race Team|
|33||12||Aaron Wilcher (6 – Cat3)||San Francisco , CA||276|
|34||11||Michael Kennedy (10 – Cat2)||Louisville, KY||257||Fetzer|
|35||10||Adam Mills (17 – Cat1)||Lawrence, KS||224||Mercy Cycling Team|
|36||9||David Wilcox (11 – Cat2)||Jamaica Plain, MA||212||Pedro’s Grassroots Cycling Club|
|37||8||jeremy whitman (12 – Cat2)||Boise, ID||282||Broken Spoke Cycling|
|38||7||aaron mickels (13 – Cat2)||Camano Island, WA||240|
|39||6||Dylan VanWeelden (7 – Cat3)||Portland, OR||243|
|40||5||Patrick Blair (14 – Cat2)||Halethorpe, MD||259||Adventures for the Cure|
|41||4||Matt James (15 – Cat2)||St. Louis, MO||237||Mesa Cycles Shop and Racing Team|
|42||3||George Barthel (18 – Cat1)||Sherman Oaks, CA||219||Helen’s|
|43||2||Alan Adams (16 – Cat2)||Seattle, WA||223||Lake Washington Velo/Hagens Berman Cycling|
|44||0||Jason Siegle (19 – Cat1)||Costa Mesa, CA||216||Bike Religion|
|45||0||Jeremy Dunn (17 – Cat2)||Portland, OR||284|
|46||0||Brian Holcombe (8 – Cat3)||Ftcollins, CO||267|
|47||0||Alex Wilson (18 – Cat2)||Seattle, WA||286||Boat Street Cycle Club (BSCC)|
|48||0||Eric Zuber (9 – Cat3)||Boise, ID||256||Bobs Bicycles Cycling Club|
|49||0||Gabriel Byrne (10 – Cat3)||San Francisco, CA||258||Squadra Ovest Cycling|
|50||0||Evan Sarna (11 – Cat3)||Oakland, CA||268||3rd Rail Cycling Club/Missing Link Bicycle Co-op|
|51||0||Gregory Lyeki (12 – Cat3)||St. Louis, MO||209||Manchester Racing Club/Trek Bicycle Store of St Louis|
|52||0||Chandler Delinks (13 – Cat3)||Ipswich, MA||285||Cyclocrossworld|
|53||0||Andrew Boone (20 – Cat1)||Bend, OR||227|
|54||0||Paul Guerra (14 – Cat3)||Los Gatos, CA||242||Alto Velo Racing Club/Webcor/Alto Velo|
|55||0||Forest Hynes (15 – Cat3)||Chicago, IL||250||Johnny Sprockets|
|57||0||Anthony Broadman (16 – Cat3)||Bend, OR||246|
|58||0||Justin Howe (17 – Cat3)||Arlington, MA||235||Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC)/NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental|
|59||0||Jeffrey Bramhall (18 – Cat3)||Watertown, MA||217||Threshold Cycling|
|60||0||Gregory Saylor (19 – Cat3)||Frederick, MD||222||Adventures for the Cure|
|61||0||Matthew Hennessy (20 – Cat3)||Baltimore, MD||233||Charm City Cycling LLC|
|62||0||Rey Madolora (21 – Cat3)||Austin, TX||211|
|63||0||Jay Kwan (22 – Cat3)||Carlsbad, CA||266||The TEAM /The TEAM SoCalCross|
|64||0||Jared Vigil (23 – Cat3)||Seattle, WA||230|
|65||0||Christopher Bassett (24 – Cat3)||Los Angeles, CA||262||Mafia Racing|
|66||0||Adam Stern (25 – Cat3)||Bothell, WA||214||Puget Sound Cycling Club|
|67||0||Daniel Breyer (26 – Cat3)||Carlsbad, CA||275|
|68||0||Joseph Czerwonka (27 – Cat3)||Louisville, KY||202|
|69||0||Daniel Fuhrmann (28 – Cat3)||Rolla, MO||283|
|70||0||Terry Deeble (29 – Cat3)||Boise, ID||251|
|71||0||Nicholas Salerno (30 – Cat3)||Hillsborough, NJ||273||DeathRow Velo|
|72||0||Noah Silverman (31 – Cat3)||Reno, NV||213||Reno Wheelmen|
|73||0||Stephen Riskus (32 – Cat3)||Silver Spring, MD||261||All American Bicycle Club Inc./All American Bicycle Center|
|74||0||Eddie Wang (33 – Cat3)||Portland, OR||228|
|DNS||0||Matt Shriver||Durango, CO||207|
|DNS||0||Aaron Odell||San Jose, CA||210|
|DNS||0||Chuck Meyer||Bend, OR||220|
|DNS||0||Geoff Casey||Seattle, WA||245||Stranamanti Cycling/Keller Rohrback Cycling|
|DNS||0||Justin Maka||Albuquerque, NM||253||Ten Speed Drive Racing/Ten Speed Drive / BH Bicycles|
|DNS||0||Ryan Weaver||Portland, OR||264||River City Bicycles|
|DNS||0||Nate Denning||Boise, ID||280||Treasure Valley Cycling Club/Team Reel Theatre|
|DQ||0||Jay Armstrong||Boise, ID||238||GS Casella/Look! Save a Life|
|DNF||0||Rob Brandt||Sparks, NV||218||Kryki Sports|
|DNF||0||Brad Cole||Fort Collins, CO||244||KCCX Verge Elite Cyclocross Team|
|DNF||0||Matt Cline||Portland, OR||287|
|DNF||0||Peter Vraniak||Seattle, WA||288|
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