What a crazy race! Ten miles of loose gravel roads, some on downhill corners, guys flatting all over the place, and riders going down by the dozen. It was an instant classic. The day could not have been better for racing - sunny and 70 degrees. The race started off at a crazy pace with everyone racing to get to the front before the first gravel section. Once everything settled down I was able to start moving up through the field
The course really suited my riding style. It was a nice rolling course with some short but very steep climbs, including one coming on the gravel section, for a total climb of 1000 feet per 13 mile lap. The only problem was that every other catagory was on the road at the same time, so I was passing guys not knowing if they were in my cat. or not.
I rode the race perfectly. I left everything on the course and ran out of gas just at the line (this is a good thing meaning that I rode as hard as I could for the required distance). I also picked the right equipment which helped my final result. I ran heavy wheels and tires, deciding the extra puncture protection would overcome the extra weight. It was the right call, as the race caravan went through 50 tubes and 50 more wheel/tire combos. The guy that parked in front of me before the start was running the same tires as my racing wheels and he flatted 3 times!
In the end my final position came down to a sprint between me and another cat. 4/5 racer, with me just holding on to take it by half a wheel - and only because I threw the bike at the end. At this point I did not know where I had placed. After waiting around for about 45 minutes the cat. 4/5 results were posted. I started at the bottom of the list looking for my name (where it usually is) and kept working my way up until I saw my name listed as THIRD PLACE. I couldn't belive it! I had to double check the sheet to make sure it was right! Results are here.
Overall the entire day was awesome, with a podium spot the perfect way to cap it off. The next race up is the Carlise TT on April 26th. I have been hitting the gym hard to help build up the power in my legs, hoping to break the 40k/hour barrier this year.