With Cam Kirkpatrick, Tad Elliot, my brother, Doug, Samo, Jesse and the rest of the strong men there, I was expecting a battle. It did not disappoint.
I took the hole shot, but not on purpose. I would have rather followed a wheel, but I put a gap on the field and no one would come around me in the starting loop.
Just checking everyone out at the start
With Doug and Tad dangling and SamO gaining, we pounded out the first lap, and I made my only mistake; I didn't hydrate enough. For whatever reason, my legs didn't feel great so I was full on to keep the pace up. At this point I was just trying to convince my body that racing is a good idea, because it sure didn't think so.My face pretty much tells the story of my first lap.
At the end of the first lap, Tad caught me as I slowed to take a bottle from my Soineur (Dad=). I asked him if he wanted the lead, again wanting to play it smart and see what everyone else had in them. He kind of grunted a response, which usually means "this hurts", so I kept the pace nice and high. A gap opened across the rolling terrain at the bottom of the ski hill, and he was out of site by the time I ascended Shady Lane. I had a good gap and my legs were starting to come around, but I paid for my first lap mistake and started to get the pings (cramping) on the third lap. That really stunk because my legs had a lot more in them than I could used the last lap and a half. I rode conservatively always checking my gaps when I could. SamO was in second but flatted as Doug was catching him. I finished with Doug in tow and Jesse behind him. Michael McBurney, another young star, put in great race to beat Tad who came in 5th. Ben ended up w/ a broken-spoke-stuck-in-the-cassette mechanical and sat up a bit chalking up the day to just riding for fun.
Ben with one of his classic suffer snarles.
Oh, and a worthy note: out of stubbornness or stupidity, maybe both, I used the Dog, a.k.a the big ring, the entire race. I guess I just wanted to see if could do it=)