I have done hundreds of races over the last 25+ years and this was definitely one of the best. Don’t want to be too much of a wind bag. Only Geoff Drake and I were in attendance from the Trip and before the race our plan was for one of us to get away. The 55+ guys were combined but scored separately. I covered the first moves mostly by 55+ guys. At the start of the second lap I was off with one of the VOS 55+ers and I asked how he was feeling when he said not very good, I immediately sat up. Soon after that as we approached the steepest part of the climb Geoff launched a very good attack that was quickly bridged by another VOS 55+er, who I later found out is a former national champion. I immediately knew this was very good situation. I could just sit in 2nd or 3rd position, passively disrupting the chase and suck the wheel of anyone who tried to bridge. No organized chase really started. A few of the 45+ers would make some strong pulls but these were never followed up by others. On the final lap as we were on the steepest part of the climb I noticed that the stem faceplate that holds my bars was loosening. The smart thing would have been to abandon but instead I went on the attack, quickly opening a gap. I put my hands on the top of the bars as to not torque them, tried to stay relaxed and not look back. As I came to the finish line my bars had loosened considerably more but I did not need to sprint for 2nd. Congratulations Geoff.
I also raced the 35+ 1-3 event.
As expected the pace was considerably faster. I believe two Thirsty Bear guys including the super talented Chris Phipps escaped early and Michael Hernandez who is back on excellent form tried several times to bridge but each time the field accelerated to bring him back. On one of the laps I made the mistake of going near the back on the climb and quickly found myself having to close a huge gap into the wind. On the next lap Michael started yelling at me for not pulling through from about 4th position. On the last lap it was obvious we were not going to pull the break back and our pace really slowed. In retrospect, I should have attached again on the climb but wanted to see how my sprinting was. As we came down the final descent I had to brake to avoid coming to the front and put myself into second position on the outside into the final sprint. It all went pear shaped form there and I ended up last in what was left of the field but was happy with 8th out of 20 starters.