It was a great day for racing and I was ready to see how it would go. I haven't raced since Pontiac Lake TT and knew the 2+ hours was going to be tough. I'm also racing in the 40-49 age group this year and didn't know all the players. The whistle blew and immediately I'm going backwards up the climb. The legs are heavy and don't seem to have any power. I get shuffled toward the back of the group and settle in for the ride through the 'coaster'. While winding in the single track, I have a change of focus and a calm enters my mind. It's time to get around these guys and see what happens. I make the first pass going down the gravel hill, then make the turn right onto the two track towards the pines. DC is having a mechanical on the trail side, so one more spot gained. My legs felt much better now and the power and cadence were back. I'm passing guys and moving well. Through the Pines, up some climbs and lap 1 is over.
Laps 2 and 3 played about the same. I kept gaining ground and catching riders. I sat on some wheels though the two track (to recover) and attacked into the single track (maximize my perceived advantage). It was all going well leading into lap 4.
With few riders having passed me I thought I was running 4th or so. I needed to keep fighting and try and catch other guys. Midway in the coaster I could see Rob Selle through the trees and thought I might have a shot to catch him? I stayed calm and once back on the two track I could see him in the distance, but this is when my body started struggling. The legs loaded up, the pedals weren't turning as fast and my mind was having doubts. The small climb upto the pines was way tougher than it should have been and now I was in survival mode, trying to hold my position. The last climbs came and went slowly. Making the turn for the sled hill I was shot! I went into my easiest gear and crawled slowly. A look over my shoulder and no riders meant I could soft pedal in.
I finished 3rd and was happy with that, but I need faster stats and more endurance. The lap times were good, but falling off a minute in the last lap was not.