That is pretty much the result of yesterday's road race. Got to the fair grounds with lots of time for social and warm up. It was a beautiful day, perfect conditions. The sun was up, it was getting warm, the wind wasn't blowing down houses. It was going to be a nice day to spend quality time on the bike. After a team meeting that was filled with sarcasm, something I do believe we learned should never be used when talking about race strategy we lined up with a pretty tough group 5.
So what was the team game plan, well let's just say what was put into action in the first 30 seconds lead to the feel of the rest of the race. Tristan, who has not done one of these before was told to just pin it right from the start for the first lap, take the lead and don't look back. Of course this was told to him in a very joking manor, to his defence which he brought up later in the evening, "When a world class rider named Watson tells you to pin it off the start, you just do it" Yes in the end this was Andrew's fault for what was about to happen. Normal starting for something like this is a gradual ramp up in the first lap, everyone working together, going a little faster etc etc until you hopefully catch the group ahead. Not today.
Go, Tristan blasts off the line full force, takes the right hand corner 50 feet ahead and continues to pin it. The pack of 8-9 of us are stunned, a few haven't even clipped in and there is already a huge gap. 2 packs are formed, Tristan leading with 3 other's, me leading the chase group, redlining my legs 20 seconds into the race. Closing in the gap, just as I expected to get a little help after the long full steam pull the little punk from planet energy instead of working together, jumps ship and sprints around the group to bridge the gap, There were some words used. The group did get back together and for the first lap that's all there was, fast paced and random surges. I'm not a fan of surges, my body doesn't surge well, I'm an endurance athlete with a diesel engine. I'm good at maintaining a pace. This showed soon enough.
Coming through the first lap I was at the end of the pack as I made the turn and yet again another surge, 3 off us were off the back, Shit. Head down and giving it I helped get one back to be able to bridge but I couldn't match the acceleration on the slightly rough pavement. The 3rd rider was back 50 feet and out of it. For the next half lap it was a tease. The group didn't really pull away, they just sat far enough away that, a huge ass carrot. I got as low as I could and pushed as hard as I could but couldn't gain, being alone I was able to ride the smoothest section of the road and I searched for every type of fast pavement that I could, taking the corners faster than I would in the pack, doing everything to gain a second or two on them. Wasn't happening today. Training!!!
Pretty much figures then to use this as a long TT. I haven't done much in the lines of long intensity to this point. Just settled in, stayed smooth and consistent, it wasn't long before I started catching people that had been blown out of different groups. Unfortunately they weren't of use to me, everyone I caught stayed with me for a minute or two and fell off. Keep riding alone, Lap 2, lap 3 etc etc I just kept motoring along. The legs felt pretty good most of the time but near the end of the race I felt a couple twinges that had me a little concerned.
Crossed the line, not last but most definitely not first. 2 hours of full on intensity, exactly what I needed to check the body. With 2 weeks till the 100 miler this showed me a few body issues that need to be resolved before spending an 8 hour day on the bike. As much as I complained that the team strategy was screwed up, being blown off the back was probably a good thing for me. The team did well from what I heard and continued to put some serious pain into the group, stories were retold last night at the first AWI Racing pub ride that was walked to where beers were drank, lies were told and a decision was made that before the next team race we actually have a serious meeting where only true ideas are told, we've learned that someone will jump when told, no questions asked.
I have some body repair to do now, lot's of time to recover and be ready. 2 weeks is a long time but not that long.