Afternoon race and it's sweltering. I am not feeling so great, but perhaps everyone else feels the same way. The course is a triangle with one long gradual uphill leg, a short downhill leg, and a long meandering flat leg to a 150 degree turn uphill. I take note that the entire M123 field takes the hill in the big ring and only takes about 1:20 per lap. Their time from the last corner is about twenty seconds, and their time from the last intersection before the last corner is thirty seconds, so my plan A is to attack from the last intersection on the last lap, and plan B is to attack into the corner on the last lap.
The race feels hard but I tell myself this is just in my head - usually it is after I examine the downloaded data. I have no trouble on the hill but even from midpack the yo yo action is pretty bad out of the exit of the downhill corner. One has to take it pretty cautiously due to one idiot or another every single lap trying to surf the inside line which leads right into a chain link fence. At one point someone goes off course on the uphill and tears the yellow tape. I am well away from this but still manage to get a passenger of ten feet of yellow tape wrapped around my rear hub till the end of the race. The uphill 150 degree corner is an adventure every lap with vary degrees of success for everyone, sometimes I can take it really fast and others times come to an almost halt due to the surge, and finally there is a crash in front of me into the hay bales on the turn, but I make it past to 20th position again.
I look down and note it's been thirty five minutes since we've started and we should be getting lap cards soon and we get four to go soon afterwards. I am glad as I was considering quitting because even if it really isn't hard, it sure feels hard. With two to go I get over my laziness and prepare for the end game and easily move up to tenth wheel on the hill, rest a bit, and maintain for the last lap. Just a few meters before I was going to attack, another rider attacks. By the time I have to consider chasing I figure I will wait and see what happens. The pack slows significantly before the last corner, and this is my signal to attack and try to catch the single rider off the front. Slowly I gain on him, each stroke brings me closer and closer. We get to the false flat near the top and I am five meters back but only ten meters from the line and realize I will not catch him and mentally give up. The swarm soon surrounds me and four other riders push me back into sixth. Doh! At least I got in a much better sprint than I did for my 200 meter time trial earlier today.
S: 38.6 kph