UMD was a brute. We went into the 3/4 race with the intention to create some hurt early on and try to minimize the field. I attacked on the first lap at the top of the hill and pretty much set myself up for not being able to breath for the rest of the race (that cold air burns). The legs felt pretty good, but my lungs were burning for the entire race. We monitored the front for the rest of the race. NCVC, Hopkins, Bike Doctor, and Kelley all got off the front (at different times) during the race, but nothing stuck. We all put in some pretty heavy efforts during the middle to help bring them back. With 4 to go, Brandon (with some nice nasty road rash on top of chemical burns...ouch bro) and I were sitting pretty around the top 5. I moved up to about 3 or 2 and kept jumping to the wheel of the attacker. Bike Doctor and Kelley kept jumping to the front with 2 to go and I would go with them, trying not to lose position and not to use too much energy. On the last bell lap, Bike Doctor attacked at the line and I went with him...nothing too serious as the group was behind us, but he carried us to just before the hill. He started looking over his shoulder for someone to take a pull, slowing down...and that's where I went. I figured that it was an all or nothing. I didn't check, but I hoped Brandon was there behind me and that if I couldn't stick it he would get dragged around by the counter. I was first up the hill and glanced to see that I had a bike length or two on second position. From there one it was just on the gas all the way to the line. Came out of the last turn with just enough space to hold of a quickly closing Bike Doctor and NCVC. Jose showed me a picture and I think the gap was about half a wheel...close, but enough.
Overall, I was happy to be a part of this one. Everyone did a great job working and riding together. Yesterday I was the lucky one. This year is going to be something special as everyone looks strong. R1V is going to be dangerous.