Flat does not equal easy...in fact, most of us agreed after the race that often flat can equal harder. I am referring to the lack of climbing out at MNSCS #1, as it is a fast twisty course that offers no respite. Throw in a bunch of really fast guys and you get suffering of the toughest kind.
Oh, and my knee felt fine. It didn't hurt at all to pedal, but it still hurts a little with any twisting motion. I guess I must have sprained it a little on Thurs.
Paul led out the prologue with Hollywood, myself, Doug, and the rest of the field in tow. I was very comfortably following and managed to follow Paul and Doug into the single track. The MORC guys (race organizers) always do a good job of finding a way to start the race w/out creating a total cluster even given the the lack of a selection climb. After a few minutes, Paul started to pop a little. He let me go around him and I pulled in Doug who was on a self described "should be illegal on this course" rigid superfly=) I hung on for the first lap and fell 10 seconds back through the second. Then I sunk my tire in the big mud pit and had to dismount OTB. At that point, I knew he would be tough to catch because the gap jumped to 40 seconds. Paul, SamO, and EricO were all riding strong in a pack behind me so I tried to keep the gas on. Given the 20-30 mph head wind on some of the open sections, I knew it would be hard to hold them off. Doug was riding superbly again and was not to be caught. I ended up soloing it home for second.
Lessons for the day:
1. Ride my own race if possible - Compared to last year where I/we were stuck in a pack of riders, this was much better. I got to ride my own race...it just wasn't good enough for the win.
2. Hydrate more - I started to cramp on the last 2 laps because I didn't drink enough on the first two....drink, drink, drink.
BTW, pics posted are from Skinny Ski
Next up is Buck Thurs and Cable Off Road Classic/ Velo Rochester Training camp this weekend.