Editor: James Mattis is a long time NorCal racer having been part of such seminal programs as Chris Horner’s Webcor year, and the current amateur powerhouse California-Giant Strawberries. Mattis holds down a full time Silicon Valley job while riding at the highest level. Below is the story of his 2008 road race victory in Irvine, California.
Where and when did you win your Stars and bars?
2008 Elite Road Race in Irvine, CA.
How did it go down?
Large break of 20 went about 3 laps (out of 7-8 I can’t remember) into the race. From that break, first there was a four rider break with two of my team mates in it (Jesse Moore and Steve Reaney) that stayed away for a lap and forced some of the stronger riders in the race to chase. I attacked after that and brought my team mate Andy Jacques-Maynes, and veteran Thurlow Rodgers with us. We held the remainder of the break at 60-90 seconds for the last lap and a half. Andy & I took turns attacking Thurlow in the final 2 k of the race, with Thurlow finally unable to follow at the base of the short climb to the finish with 600 m to go. Soloed to win by 8 seconds, with Andy in 2nd. Steve sprinted for 4th, Jesse 7th or 8th I think. We also took the bunch sprint with Ken Hansen for 16th or so.
Where does it stack in you list of victories?
Probably the biggest win of my career, though I did win a race in Belgium which is pretty big too (even though it was just a little Kermesse, winning a European race is not very common for US riders).
Any memories that stand out after winning?
I remember most of the race quite clearly. I guess one of the most interesting post race anecdotes was about Thurlow Rodgers. He came up to congratulate me as I was waiting for drug control and noted that he had a pretty good day today himself, but not quite as good a day as he had about 25 years ago in another important road race (the 1984 Olympic Road Race in nearby Mission Viejo where he took 6th and Alexi Grewal won).
Did you get any perks from your victory?
Not much changed really. I thought the jersey would insure a nice call up at some of the more important races (particularly Nevada City), and it just didn’t seem to help. I did get a ton of congratulations from riders at my first big race following Nationals (Tour of Utah).
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