Not trying to taper for this, just too much work, not enough riding.
Last year was with the group until we mixed up with a different field on the descent of the big hill and lost contact with the field.
Hope to improve up on that this year. Same weight and FTP, and lower fitness so we'll have to take what we can get.
This year we go much harder up the big climb that doesn't matter because AFAIK very few people get dropped here in our group. Where people start getting shredded is on Flynn, it only lasts about ten minutes but the steeper climbs start to make a difference. It seems we drop thirty riders here. I am about to get dropped, then figure, I can just catch up on the descent when I almost highside it into the 90 lefthander on Flynn, lost my composure and just couldn't close the gap.
After crossing the freeway, have to enter time trial mode which is exactly what I do not want to do the day before a time trial race... briefly consider calling it day after one lap, and saving it for the time trial but then a group of five or six riders catches me.
This makes life so much easier. The only problem is that on the descents when the group sort of mushrooms across the road, I just pull into the wind to go to the front and try and get the others to go a bit faster but only Matt is willing to play, and the other guys are mostly satisfied with just following. This is kind of surprising because most of them are bigger than me and I assumed they would descend faster than me. I keep probing until we get to the last hill and Bill (I think) goes to the front on the climb and keeps the pace high.
Last time up the big climb it feels like it's hard (but it's actually not) and we all stay together until about a kilometer from the top when Erik puts in an attack and quickly distances the remaing six of us. I assume there's no way that's going to work but he makes it stick!
Anyways on the descent, Matt and I trade pulls, I want it strung out just to keep things safe. The last time up Flynn it feels hard, but once again, the data shows we took it pretty easy.
Once we get into the high speed rollers after the overpass, I keep rolling off the front an I keep getting reeled in, by the time we get to the last part on Midway I give up and reset for a sprint finish. I don't know how I got a reputation as a sprinter, cause whenever I race at the track I get spanked ( and I don't mean that in the good S&M/Nancy Botwin way, either) if there is a sprint, but Matt is telling his teammate Brad to watch out for my sprint!
Anyways my assessment after looking around is that most of these guys are bigger than me so I need to drop them, cause the final part of the race is downhill then a short 200 meter flat section.
The Z Team rider goes off the front early on Midway and we slowly bring him back. Then we get to the last hill and there are now only five of us. Brad puts in a attack and only I can respond. The other three riders are close and I am just biding my time, and Brad asks me to take a pull so I take a really short one right into the last two corners and Brad goes back to the front. I shift into the gear I want to use and when I hear Brad start shifting out of the last corner, I attack and take the coveted 25th place or whatever the heck for which we were sprinting.
S: 30.1 kph
D: 71.7 km