I was fully prepared to head up to Lancaster, PA for a road race in the rain. But, when I arrived in the area I was pleasantly surprised that I wouldn't be needing any rain gear. The weather was wonderful. Unfortunately, I didn't pack a gas mask because the smell was horrible, unless you like the stench of cow dung.
I was also happy to see that the race was pretty full. When I pre-registered for it, there where only 35 people on the list, by the time it closed there was 60+.
The course was 8 laps on a 7 mile loop, which was not very selective. I was still afraid that a break would establish itself so I tried to stay at the front as much as possible. After about 4 laps it was clear that nothing was going to stay away. Both Tim's from Harley were doing a crap load of work in the race. I will honestly say that they pretty much made Farmersville a "race". I dunno what it is about the other PA teams, but with as many bodies as they had in the race I couldn't understand why their teams weren't more active.
During the race I made the mistake of not taking a feed and on the last lap I really started to cramp so I entered survival mode. I underestimated how hot it really was, and overestimated how much fuel I was really taking in. I made sure I did the last lap without getting out of the saddle because I figured if my legs were going to lock up I would rather it be in the sprint when I could hold a position than early in the lap when I could lose position. An NCVC guy took a solo flyer earlier in the lap and it looked like it was going to stick so basically we were all racing for second place since no one was really willing to chase him down. Coming up to the last km, I was buried on the inside and I figured if I could sneak up the inside I would be golden coming out of the final turn, which was some weird uphill, banked kind of turn. As I was moving up on the inside I saw two Kelly guys lined up on the outside going pretty fast into the last turn. I matched my speed to theirs so that as I came out of the turn I would line up perfectly behind their leadout, and it worked. As we hit the final straight there was one Kelly guy leading out the other Kelly guy leading out me. Wonderful! The second Kelly guy came off his teammates wheel and took off himself. I just hung his wheel because I knew I could out sprint him. About 250 to 300 meters out I took off. As soon as I came out of the saddle my legs did not want to cooperate. I just kept pedaling as best I could, fighting the urge to sit back down. It almost felt like I was literally riding a bucking horse. I just threw my weight from pedal to pedal as best I could. I got a pretty good jump but because it was so hard for me to accelerate, a guy from team Pelotoni? jumped to my wheel and was able to come around me in the last couple meters so I ended up in 3rd.
I was pretty happy with my placing. It just sucked because I know I could've gone faster had I not cramped and it was completely my fault for not fueling myself properly. So that's my lesson learned.