I've had almost 3 days to obsess about this race and I just keep smiling. I did somethings right, some wrong and others were out of my control. Made the drive over with Tom Clark (thanks for the conversation) and had plenty of time to settle in and look at how big this event has become. On to racing.
Lined up second row behind Osgood and Simon Bailey but got suffled back on the 'neutral' roll out. Guys kept crossing the double yellow and coming up the left side. We made the first right and tensions were getting high because just ahead was the left hander onto Duffy Rd, the dirt, when the race ramps up. 3,2,1.....
We hit the dirt and all I see are riders. We have already caught the group ahead and people are fighting for wheels. I make my first mistake while following up the far left side. About 1/4 mile in we hit a sand filled wash out and I find myself off the bike, running and trying to remount. It only lasted 5-8 seconds but with the loss of momentum and the leaders at 20+ mph I was in for a fight. I could still see Payn and Osgood but I was trailing back about 200 yds and losing ground. I kept the grinding forward and catching groups ahead. I think it was around mile 5 that Chris Goddard came around with another guy, so this was the train to get on. Shortly after Dan Krajcovic joined and we were 4 strong. A tandem team from Founders was also in the mix but they were yo-yoing from the flats and hills. It took awhile and finally we reached the lead group (15+) around mile 20-22.
The eventual winners were up the road but podium players were still here. The group was moving well and rotating but it wasn't very fluid. Only a half dozen or so would pull and of those one or two would soft peddle or just cycle through. By mile 28 the group was splintering over the climbs. We make the right turn for the last section of two track and it looks like a mine field (I think someone said this already) with all the 8-10' puddles. Some you can go around others you blast. Towards the end it gets steep and time for the CX portion of the race. Luckily I didn't have any cramping, but you could hear people screaming when they tightened up. It was like someone was snippering from the woods and taking folks out one at a time. Back on the bike and left hander onto Gunn Lake for the final stretch.
Peddling up the climb I'm tired and settling down when David Messing comes by. He's moving well and I dig deep to get on his wheel. He was a monster and pulls until about 1 mile left. The group swells to 10 or so and we position for the sprint. I'm a fish out of water, sitting 2 or 3rd wheel and am waiting. One guy goes and I follow, this proves to be the wrong move. After I make contact and hold his wheel for a breather the train comes by my left. They are hauling. I stand and dig deep but I'm not gaining any ground. I peddle in and the race is done.
Thanks to all for a great day. I will remember this race for a long time. It's great battling with people you know and respect. Have a great season and see you down the road.
Tuesday, March 27
Saturday, March 17
Saturday, March 3
Thursday, March 1