Due to way too much work and the injured knee from Burlingame still bothering me a little, didn't ride that much or that hard this week and didn't get to alcohol load for this race. This teetotalling is going to kill me.
Like this race because it is so close, and has a significant hill.
Signed up for the 4 and the 35+ 4/5 but due to the knee wasn't sure if I was going to do both. Felt great during the warmup for the 4 race and was third wheel going into the second turn on the downhill when my rear wheel slipped out from under me a bit, corrected and kept it up right, but was wondering what the heck was going on here. Looked down and my rear tire was going flat so I pulled out and had to consider either not racing the later race or sucking it up and waiting around for 2.5 hours, decided to do the second race.
Drank four water bottles in the mean time and probably still managed to lose weight in the heat.
Fixed the flat and got ready for the old and slow guys race, and told my teammates to just follow me on the last lap. Found myself midpack when the bell started ringing for the primes, one every lap (about five minutes) for four laps. Tried using the small ring on the first few laps but the pack was so big I was able to benefit from the draft and ride up the hill without too much strain in the big ring. It took me three laps to get close enough to the front to consider going for it on the final one. Had to get out in the wind on the left on the flat backstretch to move up, as the pack congregated on the right side, and from near the front launched as soon as we exited the last turn. After a hundred meters I looked back and only one rider had responded. Tried to work as little as possible to keep ahead of him and claim the last prime.
Now I kind of felt like quitting but managed to stay in the race. There were only four laps left on the lap cards on our next summit of the hill so I justified it as only twenty more minutes.
Gradually moved up again to about tenth with two to go, then a rider went slightly off course and knocked some cones into the field and I dropped back to fifteenth with one to go.
Tried to be patient and move with the surges on the last lap and surf wheels, got to the second row of riders when there was a pause, for a second I considered going and probably should have since my sprint isn't so great, then Allen from Alto Velo went. Quite a few riders responded so I jumped on the left, unsheltered from the wind from about four hundred meters out. I could tell I did not have a teammate on my wheel but can't do anything about it now.
This drag race went on until the finish, Allen ran out of gas about a hundred meters out, then someone started pushing me with their hand from behind to the left. Now I had to concentrate on sprinting and trying to go in a straight line, finally the other rider pushed me far enough over that I had to slow a bit to avoid hitting the rider to my left and three or four riders passed me with ten meters to go, leaving me in eighth. Then I noticed my rear tire feeling really soft again...
On the plus side, the knee is in good shape, had my best sprint of the year for the prime (still down 15% from last year), and managed to finish the race on a slow leak. On the minus side, my sprint during the finale sucked. Maybe I used it all up for the prime. Oddly, I went harder overall this year for the masters than last year, but did much better last year, but had to conserve in the masters race last year after doing the entire cat 4 race earlier in the day.
S: 38.8 kph