I was really looking forward to doing this race for the first time. I had been hearing a lot about it in years past, but never got a chance to do it. After not getting into Walkersville on Saturday, which I now consider a positive, I was definitely ready to race again.
I tried to warm up on the trainer but we really aren't friends and after about 2 or 3 minutes I had to get off and decided to just warm up on the street. I got lined up and the race started. I felt pretty good at the start of the race. My strategy was to stay within the top 10-15 throughout the race, and hope it came down to a field sprint and I figured with my level of fitness right now that shouldn't be too difficult but lately, Bike Rack has been all over the front at the races so far, and this race would be no different. I love the challenge these guys offer and even Evo got in on the action a little bit. It sucks though that most of my team was no where to be found during the race and if you could find them they were no where near the front. The whole time I only saw one teammate and that was with 2 laps to go. I feel like as a result I end up doing too much work throughout the race which makes the finish that much harder for me.
But, I'm getting way to far ahead of myself because within 2 laps of the race, there was a crash behind me that saw our race neutralized and sitting at the starting line for 15-20 minutes. There obviously were some eager beavers out there. We found out that instead of racing for 60 mins., we would now be racing for 30 mins + the 8 that we had already done. So after a long break we restarted and it was more of the same. Rack would send a guy up the road and then patrol the front trying to make sure their guy stayed away. We would eventually catch him then another one would go. It didn't look that smooth all the time but you could definitely tell what they were trying to do. I guess it doesn't have to look nice as long as it's effective. There were a couple other teams that tried to get away but we would bring them back as well.
Fast forward to lap last. Down the long sweeping turn I sitting about 5th wheel from the front. All of a sudden, to my right I see Kyle Jones comes flying by with a string of I don't know how many other people on his wheel. In my head I was thinking I had missed the train but by the time we got to the final turn to go up the hill we had caught up. I was now sitting at about 20th. I was told that this wouldn't be that bad of a position going into this hill because people would blow up before we got to the top. I took this advice to heart, and like they said people starting popping one by one. I found an open lane to the outside and just stood on the pedals. I ended picking off quite a few people who were going backwards and ended up crossing the line finishing 5th. I'm pretty happy with that result. Half way up the hill I thought I was gonna puke so I started coasting just a little bit and when nothing came up I started sprinting again, this was the difference between 4th and 5th for me. Of course I would've loved to win but I know going uphill is the worst for me and will be something I'll have to work on before Carl Dolan. I guess I'll be throwing in some uphill sprints into my training. I cannot sprint uphill. I thought I was doing pretty good until I saw this DC Velo guy come flying by me like I was standing still, he didn't last all the way to the top but still I would love to be able to sprint like that going up hill and take it all the way to the line.
After the race I was jonesin' for some sweet corn fritters and a chicken quesadilla, so after watching the women's race I headed over to Cheesecake Factory with my number 1 fan, the wife. And at the end of the day, I took my $25 in race winnings and me and the wife went out to Cold Stone Creamery. OH YEAH!