Too keep things short, I’ll skip over the pre-race and first two laps at Snelling where I followed along with Ed working hard to stay with the main group through the hard pace. When he flatted in the heavy crosswind section the pace was really high and I was able to stick on the back. I felt bad about leaving him, but he yelled at me to keep on it, so I did. The next 1.5 laps was a mix of blocks and minor attacks by various groups. The last lap saw the pace pick up again and split the field a bit. I was in the back group with 6-7 others but we were able to work together well enough to get back to the front group who had slowed down. For the last 2 miles going into the rough straightaway and final right hand turn the pace slowed way down, and the field stretched out into a large line in the right gutter providing no hiding spot from the wind. I began moving up on the right side of the others, sitting in the wind and getting ansy for something to happen… We had less than 1km to the finish, so instead of waiting I tried attacking. I got into the first turn in the lead, and then remembered how long the finishing straight was. The 63 miles of hard pace and cold headwinds caught up to me before the finish line did and I made it to about 100M before I started getting passed. I still finished ahead of some of the group, so it wasn’t all for nothing.
I was pretty toasted before I attacked, and I know I should have made a little harder effort initially to get a bigger gap, but I just didn’t have it in the end. Still, I would do it again as killing yourself for first is more rewarding than cruising into second. Final result says 21st, so not to bad for hard early season race (long one for me too) and full field of 100 racers.
This was also a great time to scope out some of the competition as this was my first race as at Cat 4, and I managed to spot a couple guys who appear strong and I'll be watching them the next couple races.
Next up, back to the same area on Sunday for Merco RR, then my first crit of the year, Menlo Park GP (and I’ve got friends/family coming to watch!!!! Extra incentive!)