So today was my second road race of the Superweek series. My goal for the day was to get in any breakaways and try to get out away from the group. I'd really like to secure a spot on the overall podium but I will most likely have to win at least two days to get the points. So that was my goal, if there's a break, you gotta be in it.
Things started off a little backwards from what I wanted to. My friend and I were staged right outside the start/finish straight, waiting for the course to be opened for a warm-up lap. As we were waiting a group of cat 3 riders, from a particular team I don't truly care for, rode through the start/finish while the course was CLOSED to all riders except those in the race in progress. The officials scolded them with a slap on the wrist and no more. After the last rider rode through the finish, the course was opened and Tony, my friend, and I headed out for a quick lap around the course. No one was at the start/finish but us and a couple others that headed out for the same warm-up lap. Now we didn't take a slow lap or a fast one either, but we definitely weren't sitting still. We all cruised up the last hill expecting to see the whole field at the line and ready to start. You can probably guess where this is going and I'm sure you're right. There was no one there but on official in a car. He called out "what are you guys doing? The cat 3's already started!" And you can only imagine the anger that arose. The few of us first thought it was a joke but there was no neutral support car, no official lead car and no riders. We soon realized that it was not a joke and the race had started, without us.
So there were a total of six of us that missed the finish and there was only one way we were going to make up, what we found out later, a minute time gap. After one lap, we lost one rider, after another lap we lost yet another rider. At this time we had the gap down to around 30 seconds. Going into our third chase lap we could finally see the group, but do you understand how much work it is for only four riders to overcome the sheer power and speed of the peloton? We simply smashed it for 4 laps, averaging somwhere around 28 mph and I know when I was pulling on the front I was pushing over 400W of pure anger. After four laps of chasing, roughly 20-25 minutes of pure teamwork, we made it to the group.
I can't even express how tired I was when I got to the group, we had all done just about a 20 minute time trial. I played recovery all day. Nothing special happened for the rest of the day and I positioned myself very well for the finish. I was poised to AT LEAST get in the top 10 and when I stood up to sprint it out after the uphill before the somewhat flat finish there was nothing there. My legs screamed, NO MORE and I sat back down and hammered as hard as I could in the saddle until the last 50m where I got up again and did what I could which wasn't much.
I came in for 14th and it was a well deserved check in my mind at the end of the day. I impressed myself and I know I could now survive in a break with at least 8 miles to go at the end of a race. I'm very excited to get the power data on the computer to analyze how well I truly did in the time before catching the group and then after catching them.
Another road race tomorrow, hopefully a better start and a better result to report tomorrow.