Wow... Today was a great day! It could have been better, but I am happy with the results and what it could mean for the rest of my season. Also, we could not have asked for a nicer day to race.
This course had about 40 feet of climbing ever lap which was about 3/4 of a mile. The course had 6 turns. The first turn was fine, turn 2 was a bit hairy if you took the wrong line or too fast as it was off a down hill and the exit of the turn had a concrete wall. Turn 3 was also downhill but a much easier turn. Turn 4 and 5 came one right after the other off the downhill. After turn 5, the road turned up with varying grades, with the steepest grade of around 8% right before turn 6. The surprise came after turn 6 going up the false flat to the start finish.
With the hill on the course, I wasn't expecting too much as I am not the lightest rider at about 195 right now. The race started at a pretty easy pace, but it sped up pretty quickly. I concentrated on staying in the top 10. After a few laps, a prime was called. With where the start finish line was, I had no thoughts of taking a prime, but I thought I could help pick up the pace, so I went to the front for the downhill. Well, in turn 2, I learned that you didn't want to take that turn too fast or start the turn too early. I thought I wasn't going to make the turn. I did make the turn, but I had swallow as my heart was up in my throat. On the brighter side, I had a lot of speed that I carried down the course. After turn 6, the guys going for the prime went around me and I tagged on to a few guys that went around.
Pretty much after that, I was just trying to hold position by taking agressive moves on the downhill and just spinning up the hill without giving up too many positions. Over the course of the race, we cut the field down to 12 riders. Mid race, I found a good line to take down the hill, but somehow lost the line as I got more tired. Also, I learned that spinning it up the hill in my 53/23 or 53/25 was the best way to conserve my legs, especially after the previous 2 days of racing.
I ended up coming in at the end of the 12 person group. Considering I felt it was a possibility that I might get dropped, I was happy with the result. I was disappointed that I finished 2 spots out of the money. It is hard to have great results when you have such low expetations and negative thoughts. One guy watching the race noticed that I was actually making up ground on the hill. If I approached the hill with more confidence, I would have been more relaxed and possibly finished better.
With my racing this weekend, I didn't get great results, but I got in great intervals and it gave me a lot of confidence going into the Winfield race weekend.