My taper needs work...
New stage race that goes through Copperopolis, not the outskirts like the famed road race. Only fourteen people sign up for the 35+ 4 category ( and two DNS ) but that just means every mass start event will be hard, not a lot of hiding in the pack.
First up is a circuit race that winds it's way around the new town square, staying in the left lane for most of the course. It's gently rolling with a small rise for the finish with a larger downhill before the finish. There are a few time bonus sprints but the time available for winning is small so I don't contest these. A few riders attempt to get away solo but nothing sticks so it comes down to a field sprint. We go much faster on the last lap, wait too long, so I have trouble moving up until it's too late and just manage a fourth place way behind the three riders duking it out for first place.
The time trial is much harder than it looks on paper, gently rolling to be sure, the E3 riders give me some helpful hints. Go hard on the uphills and easier on the downhills. I just didn't go hard enough on the uphills and too easy on the downhills, though once I hit 35mph I coasted since I was more concerned about hitting a pothole versus performance. (The pavement is on average in better shape than Madera.) It's kind of weird that my practice runs are so much better than this, guess fatigue and heat took it's toll. On the other hand this is good enough to put me in third place.
The road race excludes the big hill from the Copperopolis Road Race but includes the main descent, and cuts back through some farmland on an unpaved gravel road to avoid the finish that goes through Milton. It's a nice preview of the road race happening next week and pretty challenging given the heat of the near noon start and hilliness. Not feeling so great but the pace is sedate on the first lap. Attacks start coming from the strongest three guys on lap two (based on Madera). I can only respond until the mid point of the second lap and start to fall off the back. This leaves five riders off the front, Anthony just ahead, and Greg and Jeff just behind. Anthony, Greg and I manage to group up and finish together and I drop from third to sixth in the overall, mostly happy to have gotten through a pretty tough road race.
No video, camera malfunction or user error.