Almost got on the podium. But got invited on the box since I solo’d away on the field sprint. Late last lap tactical error cost me a podium or a chance for the win. Short story -Solo’d away from the field in a half mile uphill sprint finish for 4th.
For the most part rode up front enough to keep an eye on things and tried to hide and conserve energy. A breakaway formed on lap 2 with 6 people. I didn’t think it would stick because it was too early. However, I started getting nervous on the 3rd lap. Luckily others did too and on the third of four laps I followed 2 guys and brought back the 6 man break that got away. Had to go to either be a rabbit and shake it up for the teams that were shutting it down or possibly stay away in that break. It came back all together almost right after we connected. Got lucky and didn’t really burn too many matches. Made the other two guys do most of the work. Recovered just fine. So I feel like that was a good move. Other than that just hid and stayed close to the front.
There were plenty of attacks throughout the race and I followed others to mark them. Then with one lap to go a guy pulled away solo. I know him and he’s very strong but still thought no way he’s got the fitness or going to be allowed to solo away on the last lap. Too many other teams and horse power. Wrong! He made it and won. Then another guy snuck away with about a half lap to go that I didn’t even see go. And I was riding near the front! There were a lot of stragglers on the course from other races and I got confused. Even still everyone was in sight and they were all solo. Still thought for sure we would catch the first guy. Then with about a 1/4 lap to go another guy drifted away solo and I thought again no way. It’s too late and we are going to be slamming it here really soon. Just let him dangle up front and burn out. And we did hit it hard and fast. But sure enough he ended up staying away and catching the 2nd place guy for 2nd overall.
After that guy went I worked hard to stay way up front and even put myself in not the most protected spot on last half of the last lap to keep the lane clogged so no one else could come around anymore. I stayed on the very outside near the yellow line. As I suspected it got ramped up and super-fast. I’m still thinking we will reel in the guy’s ahead as they were all solo and not grouped up. I stayed top 5 the whole time. Bounced behind other wheels when needed and followed surges and was very aggressive. When we came around the corner for the last 1 mile straightaway before final turn for finish hill it was on! Single file and really hard which put me in a perfect spot.
Came around the final corner in 3rd position and then a few seconds later as the hill started (which is a 1.5 minute power climb at about 6% grade) I attacked solo and didn’t look back until I got to the top. At the top there is about a 50 meter flat section so I sat down in saddle and started grabbing gears. Looked back and no one near me! Huge gap! Still 200 meters to go with a little 50 meter 4% bump ahead. I relaxed a little for short recovery before the last little 50 meter bump. Then sprint hit that as hard as I could and then looked back and still had same huge gap and no one remotely close and easy soft pedaled last 50 meters to the line. I played the finish PERFECTLY! Just too bad it was for 4th.
I even saw the two guys ahead of me and got close to them by the finish. Just knew there was no way to catch them. Wasn’t enough road left. Sad part was I thought that was first and second that I saw ahead of and that I got 3rd. I didn’t know it was for 4th until about 10 minutes later on my cool down ride. I overheard someone behind me say there were three guys off the front. Shit! LOL! Was a clean fun race. I’m proud of the result, but bitter sweet about the guys that got away.