The masters didn’t take off until 9:30, so this was one of the few times we could actually leave at daylight. I smashed down about 2 eggs and 3 waffles before jumping in Kevin’s car – and off we were.
We got there and man I knew it was going to be a hot one. I drank 2 pedia Lytes on the way there and still didn’t have to take a whiz. Got the numbers pinned on and took a good long look at the field participants mentally playing the race out in my head. I didn’t know much about the course, but I knew Red bug hill was just before the finish – OUCH. I spoke to others in the race and said we just have to take turns covering attacks – hoping one of us could get away from Donald or Ed Novak.
The first lap I just wanted to take in as much as I could to learn the course before the finale’. Kevin warned me to be attentive for the first lap because there was a prime and the race might separate.
Well – just like Kevin predicted, Jerry Simon jumped for the prime which caused a huge separation all the way up the hill and I remember just hammering trying to stay on Ed then Donald’s wheel. I took a few pulls and looked back and sure enough – 75% of the field was still there. I gave up when I saw that. On the 2nd lap there were a couple of attacks from the numerous Midsouth riders – but nothing was given much effort. Next thing you know – Ed Novak flys by at Mach 1 with nobody on his tail. I thought to myself this could be bad – but nobody panicked and Kevin did some pacing and I could see he had his jersey open and was hurting out there on his own – and we still had another 30 miles to go. After that episode – we hit Jones Vaughn Creek Road and there was a MidSouth attack and was countered by Donald – which was a huge interval. He looked back after a mile and noticed the pack was still on his wheel but gasping – he continued on at about 30+ mph for the next 3 miles. I was seeing double after trying to stay on his wheel but I managed to hold on somehow. The last lap was now upon us and Kevin told me he would pace the final hill and find a good wheel. After that I felt a couple of twitches in the leg and told Kevin there is a possible plan B – to be prepared to be on his own up Red bug Hill then the finish and to just go for it for himself. One guy got away with about 2 miles and he looked like he could climb – so Kevin was pulling this guy back just before the climb then there was the final climb. It was a good pace up the hill not too fast for cramps and not too slow for surges. I was through the climb and was trying to quickly recover because there was the finish line in 500 meters. I had to muscle some dude off of Dons wheel because I knew it was the best wheel to have for the ensuing sprint. We started cranking up the speed after the climb and I tried to stay right after getting off of Dons wheel to see if anyone was coming up fast – but a crafty NOBC guy (Mark) snuck up on my right side between me and the shoulder and I missed his jump. I had at least a bike length to make up but he smoked me out right.
Once again – I had a great time racing this Memorial Day weekend and thanks to my team mates for the help. I’m starting to get tired now. LOL…