From ProVelo Passion
Photo caption: Gage Hecht takes up the chase at Superior Morgul
Opportunistic. In bike racing it means putting yourself out there. Being resourceful. Making your own luck. It’s a tactic that can win bike races. An opportunistic style of racing is also a fun way to compete, especially when it leads to a scrimmage between good friends and your team encourages it. The entire package came together for Gage Hecht (Aevolo Cycling) when he won the criterium stage at Redlands Bicycle Classic earlier this month.
Hecht won from a breakaway of nine that formed about mid-way through the race.
“I went for one of the sprints in the early part of the race and tried to carry it through. That time it didn’t work but I went for the next sprint for points and carried it through that time and it ended up sticking which is pretty cool, and ended up being with Danny [Summerhill] and all the strong riders that were out there,” he said in an interview after the Superior Morgul event last week.
Hecht has known Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) as a mentor in cyclocross and road racing since he began racing his bike at age nine. Summerhill, now 28-years-old, would have been 18 at the time. So imagine the fun at Redlands when the breakaway approached the subsequent sprint points bonus lines.
“Danny and I were sprinting for points the entire breakaway,” Hecht recalled.
Insights from those mini contests helped Hecht to the win too. The efforts confirmed which position—it was second wheel—would be most advantageous while flying around the last corner before the finish line.
Considering the Redlands experience and his omnium win at Superior Morgul, Hecht’s ability to combine an opportunistic riding style with the power to see it through could be, at least in his early U23 days, a formula for success.