Today was a lonely day as I rolled up to the line alone. It felt like last year, warming up alone and knowing that I would have no support and no one to support. No worries though, I knew it going into this race and wasn't planning on doing it until the last moment, the goal basically being one last tune up before my first target race that is Dana Point which is next Sunday. I had a one friend Derrick who I knew was a strong rider, one marked rider who has been on a winning streak and the rest were the usual suspects that regularly line up at the cat 4 races.
The course profile: 7 turns 1.2 mile circuit with a long 400 meter straight leading into the start finish.
I was coming off a rest week and yesterday told me that my legs were refreshed and ready to go. I took off from the gun and pulled for ¾ of the first lap (my signature move remember). Long story short I stayed in the top 7 the whole race never slipping back once and taking more than a handful of pulls leaving myself enough gas in the tank to recover well. I was reading the group perfect today answering every surge battling to hold my position at the front. Derrick and I didn’t work together but were constantly in contact with one another helping each other out by letting one another into the draft as needed.Laps cards came out reading 4 to go and I was sitting 4th wheel. I was in good position but didn’t want to get any further to the front so as each rider finished their pull I would let a small gap open so they would fill it keeping me in the front without having to take a pull. The last 4 laps were fast and strung out as a few teams seemed to try to organize the group and keep it fast, which worked perfect for me. With one to go I was feeling great and was letting the guys keep it nice and single file. My plan was to go early as I am a decent sprinter, but feel I have a better constant motor that is more effective than trying to come around other riders. Out of the last chicane I jumped out to the far left from about 4th wheel. I put my head down and gave everything knowing that the next 350 meters where going to be the longest I have encountered in awhile. I knew I created a descent gap only to be answered by a small select group of riders. As I got out of the saddle and was winding out my sprint about 75 meters from the finish I was passed on my right by the rider I marked as my biggest competitor. I attempted to grab his wheel but he had such a strong kick I couldn’t close the gap. I than was passed by another rider, and than one more nabbed me at the line leaving me to finish 4th.