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Tour of Ephrata - Sat RR - Sun Hill climb TT & Crit. I had planned on doing the RR and Hill climb TT early Sun morning. definately had to miss the crit since it was my daughters B-Day.

7.? mile laps - 4 laps (cat 5 race). I generally do the 4/5 races, but this race seperated the 4s and 5s. Course is pretty much flat leaving not much chance to break the goup up. Long and slight down hill finish and after racing this course last year (finished 2nd) I decided I was doing one of two things......try and break away at the end or finish in the back. Finish speeds are around 41-44 mph

1st 3 laps were pretty much straight forward. I kept myself in the front 1/4 of the group but spent a lot of my time keeping away from a handfull of really stupid riders. There was a group of about 4-6 riders in this race that were really making a lot of stuipd moves....seeing 1/2 a bike gap somewhere and they were seriously just darting hard into these open spots, people were swerving all over the place avoiding these continious manovers. I yelled a few times on deaf ears so just decided to do my best to stay away. Seeing what was going on in the early laps I had a feeling that a crash was inevitable at the finish (there was on last year). There were a few attempted breaks, but since the course was flat really had no chance.

Last (4th lap) I moved and kept myself in 2nd/3rd position and really was aggressive keeping myself there. The last 1/4 of the lap had slight tail wind with rollers and was extremely fast. The only chance I saw to stay out of trouble was to be rooted in the front. I got boxed in once or twice for a few seconds, but worked my way out. Things started getting really sketchy the last 1/4 lap, riders were really starting to make some bad agrressive decisions and I just could see the inevitable crash on the down hill finish. As we were coming up the last roller (so I thought....I was concentrating on the other riders so much and not exactly where we were) I had an opening and decided I'm not crashing at 40+ mph and took off up the roller. I had a 20/30 yard gap on the field and they were not closing (in hind site they were probably just letting me hang out there). Reached the top of the roller to the finish when I realized there was a second section of the roller that I forgot about. At that point I knew I would not have the legs to take it all the way to the line as the down hill sprint finish is pretty long.....guessing about 200 yards. Decided to just let the pack catch me and try and grab a wheel into the finish. When the pack caught up we were already into the down hill and I could not grab a wheel so I just coasted in with the back of the group.

Was kind of depressing to me doing so poorly in a cat 5 race. I am a better rider than that! After the race I start playing the what if's....should I just sat in and joined the sprint to the finish. Kicked myself for having a plan but doing it so half a$$ed! I really should have picked a landmark on my warm up lap to set as my take off point instead of just taking off half knowing where I was (especially since I am not one to be able to TT out front for long). How can I get 2nd one year and the so poorly the next.
I guess in a RR I should look at it like if your in the top 10 great, but finishing in the main pack places 11-? are all the same.

Positives I took from the race were: I felt very comfortable in the pack even around the stupid riders. I was able to move or get to where I wanted to be. Created some things to happen the way I wanted....at one point there was a cross wind from the right and I was riding on the right......thought if I can move in and create an opening to my right, someone will try and move up and fill the gap and block the wind for me....it worked right away - unfortunately it was a teammate of mine - I had a good laugh about that one.

My Sunday Hill TT start was a 7:45 which meant that I would have to wake up at 4:45 to head out of the house by 5:15 for a 30-40 min TT Wife informed me that I had a B-day lunch at 1:00 for her uncle. Still kind of down from my poor RR, daughters B-Day, uncles lunch, waking up at 4:45 - I decided to blow off the TT.

KMan
 

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KMan said:
Was kind of depressing to me doing so poorly in a cat 5 race. I am a better rider than that! After the race I start playing the what if's....should I just sat in and joined the sprint to the finish. Kicked myself for having a plan but doing it so half a$$ed! I really should have picked a landmark on my warm up lap to set as my take off point instead of just taking off half knowing where I was (especially since I am not one to be able to TT out front for long). How can I get 2nd one year and the so poorly the next.
I guess in a RR I should look at it like if your in the top 10 great, but finishing in the main pack places 11-? are all the same.
For me, this is the beauty (and the bane) of road racing. By no means does the fittest guy always win, unless he's over-the-top more fit than the rest of the field and can just ride away. For mere mortals, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't.

How's this for bad -- we've got a local club "challenge" twilight race where we race against the other local club. It's on their course, and every year (for like 3 years running), I've misjudged where the finish line is -- sprinting for the 250M cone rather than the line. Now THAT'S dumb!
 
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