As my first real bike race (I don’t like to count Barry Roubaix, well, because I don’t and CVNP is a different dynamic), I was pretty nervous, despite it being dubbed a training race in both name and spirit. The weather conditions were pretty good, low 60’s and some wind, but the course is pretty well protected making the wind mainly a nonissue.
Along with a teammate, Zac, I had pre-ridden the course a couple days before and got an idea of how the it would go down, where I would need to conserve and where I could potentially attack. I was uneasy with the uphill finish, but I was comforted by the number of 90◦ turns on the course, figuring I could either make up time or attack with some success in those areas.
Upon getting there, it was good to see fellow racers. Having missed the first two races, I was often greeted with the “oh, look who decided to finally show up.” Yeah, I had legitimate reasons not to be at this race, and to be honest, I was missing yet another family obligation to go to this one, but I was finally ready to race. People told me who was doing well so far and gave me a few insights into who to watch, other than the obvious.
We had neutral start and then 15 laps of a 1.3ish mile loop. There were a few prem laps, but I have a history of never going for a prem, I need to get over the belief that I cannot out-sprint someone. As expected, Sam and Sally traded off attacks until we finally let Sally go after about 5 laps. Unfortunately, a CAT4 managed to go with her. I had been in a few attacks, but the breaks were never successful. As is usually the case, I spent too much time in the front pulling, pretty pathetic since I had no teammates in the race. I did try to talk strategy with LB, but it just didn’t work out. In the end, as soon as the bell rang, I attacked and pulled through the entire lap. It was a strong pull, spreading out the field, but in the end, I let up at the sprint. I had 2nd in the bag and then started to let up as I was doing a Time Trial the next day and right at the line, I was passed literally within inches of the line to end up in 4th.
I am pretty embarrassed as a slew of obscenities flew out of my mouth. I was beyond angry at myself and had absolutely no one to blame but myself. I warmed down with Lorena, chatted for a while, then called my coach to tell him what an idiot I was. He pretty much agreed.