Used the 50/34 with 11/23, stayed in the 50 for the short climb as the speed of the pack is decent going into the base of the hill.
35+ 4/5 race:
Teammates: Doug H, Jim W
Friendly rivals: Bianchi Juan, Nakamura-san, Mark S, Travis from Pen Velo, Mr. 270+ career wins :), Phil from 3BRT, others.
Came into this race with a CTL of 120 and TSB of 6, so hypothetically fit, and neither super fresh or tired.
Managed to twist my skinsuit jersey sleeves into my rear wheel like a dork but just dirtied them up a bit during some recon laps of the course early. At the whistle I clipped in quickly and looked for an early attacker and someone from Metromint went so I just followed him. He powered us to a small lead and when I looked around when we exited the back stretch I saw it was only ten meters so I eased up and let other people bring him back, but noted he took the last two corners really well at about 30mph. Slotted in towards the front of the pack and never really felt pressured because if one timed it right it was possible to coast most of the way up hill with a few strategic pedal strokes. After a while the pace felt downright pokey on the uphill section. Halfway through the race I saw the riders in front of me part as a rider with his rear wheel in the air was in the process of cartwheeling prior to the next to the last turn, he either locked up his front brake or caught his front wheel in a crack and I picked the left side of him to go by and he slowly went rear wheel over front wheel, so I don't think he was hurt badly as he held onto the bars most of the way. This unnerved me a bit so it took a while to calm down. With six to go wanted to move up and every lap there was plenty of room on the left after the bridge on the hill so I waited and just went straight to the front and found myself with a fifteen meter gap by the start of the next to last turn. I hesitated here as I was not sure if I could hold the pack off for six laps and decided to ease up on the front stretch. I let about ten people pass me and got back into the group and onto Keith's wheel as he was the strongest person I knew in the field. I was able to hold it until three to go when on the first corner, a few people managed to bring each other down I believe after getting their wheels into the trolley tracks and both Keith and I had to brake hard but Keith got right back to the front in short order but I could only manage the back of the front group. Was starting to get impatient and with two to go came within a couple inches of Doug as the entire pack came almost to a standstill in turn one, hope I did not affect his race as he said he slowed down for me as I was trying to yield to him, doh. My position and Keith's did not change much from here to the finish as Keith won and I was about 20th and had to stop my sprint after 50 meters as I could see there was not going to be room to pass anybody safely.
Possibly I should have just stuck with it when I had the opportunity for a six lap solo or taking some inspiration from Keith's adrenaline inspired move after the accident and just moved right back up again but I was too conservative with my matches at six to go and probably overthinking personal safety at three to go.
S: 39.8 kph
Teammates: Doug H, Jun A, Keiran C
Friendly rivals: Nakamura-san, Mark S, Travis from Pen Velo, Mr. 270+ career wins :), others.
Felt a cramp coming on after the first race so ate a Clif Bar, Gu, and one bottle of electrolyte and did not have any issues during the second race. This race felt harder at the beginning but was really easier, probably just the fatigue from the earlier race. No accidents that I saw versus the five that were reported in the 35+ 4/5 race. This race was really frustrating because after about halfway through I wanted to move up but found myself confounded by the narrowness of the bridge on the uphill section. I should have tried an alternative like burning a bigger match on the downhill right after the uphill but was too occupied with saving myself for the end. Next year... Was able to get behind Keiran, Jun, and Doug but not able to help them out any unfortunately for a mid pack finish. The only consolation was I was able to get a decent 15w/kg 5s sprint in at the end. I really felt fresh at the end so this was a pretty disappointing ending.
My take away from this is that I was not flexible enough with where I could move up, moving up was definitely possible on the downhill, especially with so many people barely moving at the top, I just was too comfortable with moving up on the hill from the earlier race and finding it just easy, and not willing to make myself suffer a bit more to move up on the downhill.