Rode a bit too hard on the Fourth of July, started off with an easy ride to test out the injured knee and kept going farther and farther and farther... Topped it off with another easy but overly long ride on Saturday so come into this race with tired legs. Sometimes I like riding too much to sacrifice a good ride in order to rest for a race. But can't really use it as an excuse today because plenty of people did Leesville on the day prior to this. Work commitments kept me from getting a prerace hangover, have to make up for this next week.
During the warmup my legs were sore which is not a good sign. Due to some odd starting circumstances, we start really crammed together shoulder to shoulder. Since the course starts off with a technical left, then right, decide to gun it from the start just to string things out and keep it safe.
Two other guys have the same idea so I concede the lead for the first one and a half laps, take a pull or two, and sit back in about tenth for the first prime. On the next prime lap I am sixth wheel and move to the front on the hill, take a look around and decide to see if my sore legs have any jump for this prime.
It turns out only a tiny jump is available which gets about thirty meters on the hill. When I check after the next two turns, the field is about twenty meters behind. Disappointly for me, two riders catch me before the line. I am not feeling that great at this point and pull out, reload for the next race. Using a big ring the whole race with my current legs was probably mistake, vow to remedy that on my next attempt. Didn't really go that hard because I have done this sort of effort for forty plus minutes on the track, so fatigue is a factor for me. Have to reset expectations for the next race.
This time at the start take it pretty conservatively and sit mid pack for about thirty some minutes and use the small ring for most of the race. With five to go start moving up, with the field strung out, just a few efforts here and there and sitting on the right wheel makes this pretty easy even with tired legs.
More people than last year, but not any organized leadouts so it's a cluster even at the front. Get in the top ten on the last lap. When we hit the hill my legs don't respond so well so I just sit tight... An AV rider and Paul from Pen Velo are the first to strike, I respond but the acceleration is pretty puny and I can only manage to be fifth on the descent. At this point my legs are complaining mightily and a small gap opens in front of me. I always hate it when other people do this to me in a sprint... Someone behind me tells me to keep going, so I give my last bit of effort to pull them as close as we can get to the lead group and can only watch as the top ten riders sprint madly for the line.
This race was really easy compared to last years' data, but I can only blame myself for the results...