Jim Clevenger and Joe Kleidosty switched gears a bit and decided to go for the state title in Category 3 in Salina on August 9. It can certainly add a bit of excitement in the air by racing people less than half your age!
Due to the size of the fields, the category 1 and 2 racers were combined with the Category 3 racers. The race started out at an easy pace, but then Lane Johnson attacked and everyone else was in pursuit, which picked up the pace through the rolling hills.
Nothing was able to stay away until Clevenger rode up to the front 9.5 miles into the race and rode away from the peloton up a hill. When Clevenger realized he had a gap, he put in some effort and maintained a good tempo, holding a 30 to 60 second gap. Kleidosty tried to neutralize attacks and went up front to slow down the pace. A couple racers attacked and were working their way up to Clevenger, when he flatted around the 18-mile mark. His race was done.
This left two Category 3 racers out front. When Kleidosty realized Clevenger was out, he attacked to bridge up and was able to work with Travis Tesone to chase down the lead duo. Just as Kleidosty and Tesone were about to make contact with the lead duo at the 26-mile mark, Kleidosty’s rear tire punctured.
The wheel truck came up pretty quick. Kleidosty swapped out wheels and headed south into a decent headwind. Kleidosty could see the group ahead, but was seriously doubting he could bridge up to them. He was even considering abandoning the race, momentarily.
Kleidosty bridged up to one racer that was dropped and work with him for a short while until he realized he needed to go faster. The road going south has some undulating and punchy hills, and Kleidosty could see the group spreading across the road, meaning the pace was slowing. Kleidosty made contact with the group around the 31-mile mark and jokingly said, “Is this the last lap??” Unfortunately, it was not.
Shortly after making contact, Kleidosty sat in, recovered a bit, but then noticed Britton Kusiak attacking up a climb around the 33-mile mark. Kleidosty grabbed Kusiak’s wheel, and, before they knew it, they had a decent gap.
Kusiak and Kleidosty worked together and stayed away until the 49-mile mark, where three other racers bridged up to them (Micah Newell, Cat 1; Justin Leopold, Cat 1; and Lane Johnson, Cat 3). The pace picked up when these racers bridged up to us, and, almost immediately, Kusiak was dropped. Kleidosty sat in the back a bit to recover, as he did most of the work with Kusiak.
The lead group of four worked well together over the next 20 miles. Johnson put in a couple of attacks on some hills and Kleidosty covered those and was in good position. Kleidosty then lost position going up to the finish line and was edged out at the line, earning silver in Category 3.
Lisa Doane raced her race and earned another podium for Keen Wealth Advisors.
Nigel Vaught continues to show improvement throughout the season, winning his race! Joe Rehm even raced his first road race, mentioning he was glad he applied generous amounts of Chamois Butt’r before the race. Great job to all!