We finally had a Tuesday morning without rain, so I took the good old Fuji race bike to work, and found out how poorly it was shifting again. Before heading up to EHP for the race, I adjusted all the cables again and it was running smoothly. The past races this year I was on the steel Soma bike, with 32mm tires, fenders, and a trunk bag, which weighs about 32lbs all together.
It was a flat course night, and we rolled out to the start. My legs were feeling great, which was a surprise since I had just finished my 235 mile fleche ride on Sunday, though that ride was mostly about staying awake and rolling smoothly than fast efforts. Quite a few people made it to the start, so I went with the A’s. Last year I often did one lap of the A’s, and the second with the B’s.
The race started out uneventful, but was certainly seeming very fast. I tried hard to stay with the pack, but not make any extra efforts to push it faster like I sometimes would do with the B’s so that it’s not just a bunch sprint at the end. We rounded the turn and I was able to hold on and gain some ground instead of falling back at the turn like usual. I drafted as much as I was able, and apparently was able to store up some energy.
Luckily towards the final stretch, I was still in the front part of the pack as the final lead out was lining up. 10 or so people strung together a pace line, waiting for a move to be made. Danny then launched off the front, while I was maybe 4-5 back. No one immediately chased, so for whatever reason I jumped out of the line and went for Danny. He was flying though, and I wasn’t able to catch him, but I saw that I was off the front of the line and making a gap. I then put all my focus ahead, took very deep breaths, and sprinted as hard as I could. Wacek passed me, with Jeremy following, and then the finish came up quick.
I was ecstatic to finish 4th though! Considering that the guys that beat me are “real” racers that have been racing for a while, while I just do long rides and rando rides, I was surprised that I was able to hold on that long. Where were all the other people that train intervals and time trials? Surely they should have been passing me too! It must have been a lucky day for me, and I don’t expect to finish that well every time.
The second lap was considerably slower, and I was just coasting through the last mile before the turn, and soft pedaling for parts after that when everyone bunched up. It was rather annoying being stuck in a pack and unable to move out when I knew I had lots of energy left, but that’s racing I guess.
First lap was 25.3mph, second lap was 23.5mph.
Strava link: http://app.strava.com/rides/8612321. I bumped up to second on the Strava segment, though still 30 seconds away from first, so that seems unlikely any time soon.