Frankenmuth Race Report

Kevin Juntunen finished a strong 2nd in the cat. 4 field at this past weekend's Zehnder’s Tour de Frankenmuth road race. AAVC had a solid group of riders coming to the start and worked together to help get Kevin into position. Here's the report from Kevin. 

Starting out in the staging area, we were able to get 4-5 riders up near the front to begin. The race began in typical fashion, fast out of town, with everyone trying to advance up, but eventually things settled down and the pace began to even out. A few riders went on the early attack, only to be swept back up by the momentum of the charging peloton. Harvey Elliott and Kyle Schroeder remained near the front for most of the 1st lap.

Coming into the 1st dreaded 90-degree bend into town, Harvey and a few other riders went down into the hay bale barricade. Recognizing that one of our own had fallen, Matt Johnson waited back and helped pull him back up into the pack. This would prove to be a very important move on Matt's part.

Beginning in lap 2, everyone in the field knew the marked '1' jersey for MI Challenge points leader, Adam McIntyre. He would attack, and the field was forced to respond. I worked my way near the front of the pack thanks to some key shepherding from Tom Wamsley. As we pulled out of town on the 2nd lap, some very violent attacks went off the front, with some strong riders. We knew the AAVC had to respond if we wanted our sprinters to have a chance. Club newcomer Jared Salinger was pressed into duty and pulled back 2 violent attacks through a steady, measured effort.

At mile 23, the AAVC had a choice to make. I was still sitting comfortably tucked in the top 10 but needed help in marking Adam and the aggressive breakaway artists. Harvey artfully had moved himself up the field after his crash, and gave direction to Kyle and Jared to keep the pace high and keep me out of the wind. Mick strategically sat back as a back up, ready to pounce if needed towards the finish. Harvey and Kyle took the race upon their shoulders with some impressive pulls for over 10 miles, with speeds ranging from 25-27 mph. Jared had recovered enough to also give Harvey and Kyle a few breathers before his legs cried for mercy. The pace was kept so high, that no body from the field could attack the pace that the AAVC was hammering. You could almost sense a state of panic back in the peloton as the sprinters recognized the firepower of the AAVC and were searching for teammates of their own.

As the peloton made its way back into town, the field grew jumpy, with riders attacking each other and trying to be near the front. The final turn caused another massive pileup in the field, but with the AAVC avoiding this one. Like predicted, many racers started their kick too soon, and I was able to recognize who was fading and who was surging, and hopped from wheel to wheel to move up. The final 200 meters was a dead heat, with an O2 rider taking the victory less than a wheel ahead of me. It was an exciting race filled with everything we've come to expect from Frankenmuth: crashes, surges, aggressive maneuvering, and a fast sprint.

Great job to everybody! Full results from the race are available on the USA Cycling site