I purposely started the race at the back of the field, as I am still gaining experience riding in a large peloton. Once the really fast guys went off the race splintered in several smaller groups our 5 to 10 riders. On lap four of nine of the 2.8 circuit, I got into a group of about 8 guys and we rode the rest of the race together. This was extremely helpful as there was a headwind on the climbing part of the course. Working together we were able to catch other riders who went to hard from the start and had been shelled off the back of the main peloton because of the wind.
The road conditions could have been better, but they could have been worse as well. The rain the day before washed quite a bit of fertilizer (aka cow manure) from the fields onto the road. By time we raced the roads weren't wet but still a little damp. As the wheels rolled over the "fertilizer" it would spray up on the rider behind. By the end of the race I had a nice little coating on me. But, that is early season bike racing!
Overall it was a great experience and I learned a lot - like how to work in a pace line, how long of a pull (working at the front) to take, and race tactics. I can't wait to do it again so it's good I have less than 7 days until the next race! The Fawn Grove Roubaix starts at the Fawn Grove High School.
The Fawn Grove race will be a great opportunity to come out see some great racing for all you southern based fans (aka Maryland) - part of the course actually dips into MD. Another feature of the course is the 4.2 miles of dirt/stone roads we will be racing on (course map here) Also, the race doesn't start until 1:00pm so you don't have to be up a the crack of dawn to see the race. I hope to see all of you there.
Until the then!