Come into this race with a lot of pressure, lots of folks know I won this last year so I am not counting on the same tactics working. Many teammates this year, too. Not as big a team presence as in the past so I think this works against us, folks race pretty negatively overall, and we finish about five minutes slower than last year when I attacked like mad in the first half and got dropped in the second half.
As the race progresses, start to lose more and more teammates to flats and mechanicals, but we still manage a good leadout to control the pace for the last few miles. We get to the bridge that is a minor choke point and we get swarmed a little but I think I should have been more patient, and not gone with the early moves - maybe too many people watched my video of last year and were going to try to imitate it. One of the riders I am watching is Michael, who has had a great 2009 season, and when he jumps I respond immediately. Erik S. and Mike S. are there, too.
Surprisingly to me and Michael, he fades after about twenty seconds and when we catch him, Mike S. and Erik S. go again. We have not yet even gotten to the underpass, and this is really not where I want to go, but I don't want to give up without a fight. In retrospect I should have let someone else chase them down. But I surge again. Mike S. fades. I crawl back onto Erik's wheel, then before we reach the corner, he surges, and I have trouble getting on his wheel. In the back of my head I am thinking, wow, Erik is going to win. But as soon as we reach the corner, riders start passing me until finally it's me and Erik staggering across the line for tenth and eleventh place. This is disappointing for me because I feel like I let my teammates down.
D: 112.8 km