My preparation for this race involved staying out till two in the morning and then getting a leg cramp when I first stepped out of bed. At least I have cut out the daily ice cream and have got my weight down to 67kg from last years' 69kg at the same race. This year I concentrated on *not* leading the group up the feedzone hill and this and the weight change helped immensely as I was able to hang on well past the overpass with the main group of forty or so. The last of the hills after the overpass was my undoing, just could not pedal fast enough in the 34-26 to keep up, either need to cut out the daily M&M rations to cut down the weight more or get an even smaller gear... The group was only about thirty seconds ahead but I had already used everything keeping up, maybe should have gone till I had blown or caught. After a few minutes on the downhill some other folks caught me from behind and we worked together for the next 45 miles, they were stronger than me on the downhill and headwind sections, and I could comfortably ride at the front on the long uphill sections. The same calf that cramped this morning started cramping again so I tried to massage it a bit when I could. The next to last time up the finish hill simply followed the guy in front of me and we dropped the others by about a minute. Since we were well behind by this point I figured I would try something in and see if I could solo in the last lap. This was working fine until my leg started cramping again and I had to ease up. When the groupetto caught on the descent, I slipped back in but just as I was easing into the rotation my calf totally seized up and I had to wave them on. I alternating stretching and massage and after a minute I started pedaling again gingerly. Was not making up any ground nor losing any by the time we go to the flat section, when thankfully the rest of the groupetto caught me. This enabled me to get a bit of a rest and I was able to close the final gap for the rest of the guys. The last time up the hill I was able to ride away from the groupetto (to be fair many of them said they were saving it for the crit tomorrow) and catch five or six other stragglers. If I could just lose another three kg... On the positive side stayed with the group ten minutes longer than last year, with pretty much the same fitness so the weight factor is enormous for me and this group and this course.