A little less fitness and am coming in about three kilos heavier versus 2008. Oddly, I end up with almost same final result. I would do anything to have that fitness again, well anything except eat and drink less and train more. I kid. A little.
Temps are very cool due to overcast skies, and even a little fog/rain. The course is a little bit different than previous years, instead of one out and back there are now two out and backs, the first out and back is more of a circle and back, and the second doesn't go almost to the end ( guess the whole road wasn't available ) but the one three to four minute hill is still the main defining feature.
Last year blew up on the one big climb, and was able to go pretty hard each time on the climb, not so much on the other parts. This year, tried to meter out the effort on the climb, and about about fifteen guys rode away very gradually. Then it was Ernie, Mike, some other guy and I, ten seconds back of the pack and figured we wold catch them no problem after the top, but Ernie and the other guy killed it on the undulating section before the finish and bridged up, and I could only watch. Worked with Mike and TT'ed and we got within 50 meters after Mike took a long pull and I didn't want to jump and leave Mike behind so I tried to TT both of us up and could not do it, so close. We ended up losing about 30 seconds for each 10.5 mile lap so with two turn arounds, we could see the group for about twenty five miles of chasing which was a very tiny carrot. We only catch one of the about fifteen riders in front of us, Ernie, who despite a thirty pound weight advantage stayed with the group longer than Mike or I. We end up going into match sprint mode for the finish with Ernie leading us out for fun.
D: 59.5 km