Plateauing at February fitness, hard to get it up where it was with work and the racing all the time business.
This race is on a military installation. There is one short climb of significance, and only one lane of the road is open for the riders for the flattish part leading up to it.
Previewing the course indicate the climb is not exactly what is described in the flyer or the online profile at the race web site and the first time up confirms that the climb might only be 6% but it comes in a stair step fashion so some parts are much steeper. The narrowness of the roads makes for a lot of contact/close calls in a large field. Since I am near the front the first time up, it is pretty easy to hang in and sag climb, and still we drop about a third to half the field. This is kind of surprising because I only went at the equivalent of 4:30 pace up Mt Eden for 4:00 and this is not as hard as we usually do the *first* climb up Stage Road at the Pescadero Road Race where very few riders get dropped. We have the full 1.5 lanes for the descent, it seems a bit hairy due to the size of the pack that is left, and one 90 degree turn at the base of the first long, steep section, and the trip back to the start of the climb is uneventful.
Since I am at the back on the climb, I have to be more attentive and when a gap opens up in front of me, I panic a bit and go a little too hard to get back on, was just too hard for a short time but it's enough to force me to ease up on the last part of the climb. Consider chasing the pack down but some crashes on the descent by riders ahead of me discourages that and I pack it in at the end of the second lap to save something for tomorrows criterium.