This is my last bit of *taper* before the Berkeley Hills Road Race. Lots of familiar faces with around 80 geezers in the field.
A little preview of the course reveals that there is probably less than one hundred meters to the line from the last corner so have to be close to the front on any key moves. There is a sweeping right hander in turn one and the rest of the corners are standard 90 degree right turns.
Start off near the front and things sort out after a lap and Jonathan from SJBC takes a flyer on the second lap and I follow. He pulls off after half a lap and I give it a go for a full lap, turn around and much to my surprised to see that I am not capable of dropping eighty guys and see I have the entire pack behind me but no one willing to take a pull so I ease up and out of the way. Spend ten minutes recovering when a prime is announced and I am way too far back to do anything about it so I have to bide my time.
The next prime comes up and I am about twentieth wheel. I am moving up when a rider attacks into turn two. Due to crowding I have to wait until after turn two to accelerate and get to within twenty meters after half a lap but the breakaway rider has done a good job of full committing to his winning move so I back off again and recover midpack.
With six or so laps to go another prime is announced. Two riders have attacked before turn two and have about twenty meters. I have learned from my prior mistakes and am able to hit turn two at full speed. I am slowly gaining, look back and don't see anyone. The two of them are trying to size each other up. They hit turn three and I am a little closer and I put in a sprint to get on their wheel after half the straightaway. Now I can rest for a few seconds while we head into the final turn and I start sprinting into the turn, pull even with one rider, then the rider in the lead and he starts upshifting, and I feel undergeared but spin it out and able to nip him at the line for the prime. Boy, that hurt.
Try to keep tempo up after the sprint to see if I can stay away but the pack has none of that and swallows us up again.
With three to go I am follow wheels back to the front when a rider moves laterally six feet coming out of turn three for no apparent reason but luckily every one avoids him, including his trailing teammate. Having seen enough but not sure of the legs, I move to the front but find I have nothing left in the tank after getting there (that prime was a little too close to the end of the race for me ) and drop out the back and finish just behind the pack.
74/85 riders, 1 prime