Teammates: Jay (week off the bike and recovering from cold), Luke, Rich, and Saturday ride comrades Erik B and Dan
Somehow got talked into this even though I am not a climber. Started off the day by misreading the start time by an hour due to either dyslexia or dementia. Dog Gam! Anyways showed up early by time trialing to the start thinking I was late, so got a super long warmup with time for extra jibber jabber.
Based on the finish times for Luke and Rich at Montebello, decided to go with the slower group behind them. We warmed up by riding from Alpine/Portola Valley and Dan remarked that he wasn't sure why we were going so fast - most of the riders in our group were unattached and perhaps did not race that much. I didn't think it was that bad but we went so hard we caught the group ahead of us on their warmup.
This was a portent of things to come - Dan and I eventually dropped every one who started with us. We staged in on Greer with Dan and I at the rear about ten yards back of the front of the group. Usually I time from the stop sign at the bottom to the stop sign at the top so I *think* this would be a slightly longer distance from Greer to a little bit short of the stop sign at the top.
The riders at the front went really hard at the start. I just tried to follow wheels and close gaps when riders got dropped. We still had eight riders when we got close to the park entrance when I got tired of the surging and just went to the front. I didn't feel that bad but noticed our intensity for the first ten minutes was almost as hard as I do shorter five minute VO2max intervals!
At this point, it was a matter of reeling riders in front of me from other groups, go hard but not hard enough to blow. Saw lots of folks I know but could only manage a short "hey" or "hi" between gasps for breath. Pacing myself behind people or trying to catch people *seems* easier than just pacing by myself because I managed to set a new PR by about two minutes. Riding the lighter, race bike setup probably helped a lot, too.
This was a really well done event with snacks at the end and free energy gel at the start. May have to do more of these, even though it's not the best prep for cross racing the next day.
D: 6.879 km