Today I had a first. I crossed the finish line ride behind the lead group… We’re talking like 10 seconds. Too bad I’d only completed 5 of the 6 laps by this point. 🙂
The race started off really fast. It was basically a rectangular course with a couple of jogs in it so it had both left and right turns. There were couple of really short ascents and one descent but otherwise really flat. The course changed so it was 6 laps of 7.5mi. It was colder that it has been and we finally got a little bit of rain during one of the races. The young guys wanted to go fast and we went fast.
I kept up for a long while but it was rough. The group splintered pretty early. I think there were several flat tires in the first lap. One of them was the guy, Michael, at the #2 spot in the standings. I felt really bad for him.
I grouped up with a couple of guys for a while. It fell apart on the ascent for the finish line on lap 3. Most of lap 4-5 I was alone. A little after the middle of lap 5, Michael caught back up to me. He had gotten a spare tire after about 10min and worked to catch back up. The girls passed us right about then. Then the lead 5s passed us at the turn before the final hill. We followed for a minute and they finished, and we went on.
Lap 6 was hard. Its kind of demoralizing getting passed by your own group. About half way into lap 6 the 4s finally caught and passed us. Then they slowed down. Michael and I had been working together to catch one of the 5s that wasn’t too far ahead of us and the 4s were in the way now. We did manage to catch him before the last turn. The three of us started the hill together, I took the lead and Michael was right on my wheel. He told me to go ahead, and my only response to him was “are you really going to let ME beat you up this hill, peddle harder” which he did and we finished basically in line with him 1′ ahead; I ended up 36 of 46. That was probably the best part of the race; he and I are the only two 5s that have finished all of the races in the series so far.
Next week, the series final. As of this week I am 28 of 171 in the series; its amazing what finishing will get you even if it isn’t top 20. I wonder how that will work out…