Missed this race due to a scheduling conflict and now that I've done it once, sorry to have missed it. A challenging, technical course, hills, high speed descents, and my favorite, and uphill sprint into the wind.
First up is the 35+ 4/5 race. We have about 40 entrants. This is the borderline number where the race can be really negative - where it's easy to sit in because someone is chasing down every single break, even if they have no teammates or no sprint, or it can be a positive race where it is strung out and we're shedding people every lap. Several people put in attacks early. I go with a few. Nothing sticks. Then Josh from LGBRC goes solo as we reel in another break, and gets a huge gap initially. Since I don't have teammates I figure if he wins solo he deserves it and just wait. He stays out there for about ten laps! but finally he comes back and then pace eases significantly. I just try to move up and avoiding the riders with suspect pack handling skills, with two to go I am about fifteen back working my way to ten, when there is a crash out of the last corner, going uphill. See a gap between crash victims and try to squeeze through but a rider that is going down falls over onto my front wheel as I pass. This tacos the front wheel so I can't even turn it or try to ride to my spare wheel only 200 meters away, decide to call it a race, regroup for the E4 race.
After the debacle that was the 35+ 4/5 race (for me), decided to string things out no matter what, even if I get dropped, to keep it safer. Unlike the first race, after I pull over, multiple people are willing to share the load, even though we have a smaller field. By the half way point we had dropped more than half the pack. I was barely hanging on and had to resort to motivating myself by saying just one more lap, just one more corner. Then there was a pause for a lap, I could see the eventual winner and his teammate start moving up, and the attacks started up again and this split up the field even more - there were three or four riders up the road, and the other ten of us trying to catch back up. We got closer, and closer, and closer until the last two laps when individuals were able to split our group up, on the last time up the finish straight, the four in my group could see the seven ahead sprinting for the line as we started our sprint, ended up getting ninth.
We had less riders doing the work and we ended up going a full mile an hour faster.