Turkey Day 2008. Not the most exciting course. Usually, at least in the 3/4 and 5 ranks in years past, it has been a parade followed by a long run in on the last lap leading to a mass sprint that is contested by all. I was a little bit worried that the meltdown from Coppi on Saturday would take a toll on me physically on Sunday. There were a bunch of us in the race, so I figured at a minimum it would be fun.
Pre-race: We decided to take the dogs with us to the race. The wife had a pretty miserable drive over as the dogs both urinated and puked all over the car and on her on the way. That lady with the shorts that were obviously too big for her...that was my baby sporting the stylish post-dog-pee "man" shorts. So, mentally I was upset about that and wasn't able to get much of a warmup for the race.
Race: 3/4 race started as it always does...parade with minor pickups for the early primes. I went for one of the primes and missed it by a tire. An ABRT rider who rolled through in third asked if we wanted to keep rolling since we had a little gap, so we gave it a go. Initially the three of us had about a couple of seconds till two more bridged across to us. We got pretty organized quickly as I think everyone knew what was needed to make this thing stick. We each took real short pulls, very similar to down at HP at lunch or down MacArthur early Saturday morning, and were able to hold 24 to 26 mph average on the course. The rest of the R1V guys in the field said that the field organization just wasn't there. A couple of individual flyers here and there, but nothing that was going to bring the break back. Anything that did look good was immediatly jumped on and "shut down" by solid tactics...great job guys. Anyway, with 4 to go we were still working well together and even rolled through a prime without attacking each other...impressive...to make sure it stuck. On the last lap, on my last pull, I noticed nobody pulled through. Let the games begin. An attack went up the right side and we all jumped on it. Everyone was hurting and I was feeling the heat and Saturday's effort in the legs. Another move happened (eventual winner) with one turns to go and nobody initially jumped for it. It was a solid effort as it was far enough away to create doubt in the rest of us, but close enough to hold on. With one turn to go the four of us left started attacking each other. I had nothing left, so I played my one card up the right side on the slight downhill leading up to the sprint finish right after a move on the left and gave it my all. I was caught by two and rolled in for fourth.
Post Race: I was happy with getting in the winning break. I'm not too pleased with my closing speed and the power I had left at the end. It is something that I've suffered from in the past. Twenty minutes of sustained effort followed by intense bursts usually end up in the intense bursts not really being all that intense. Maybe more intervals following long rides. Maybe more sustained efforts to get used to the effort of staying out in the break. Maybe a little more heart and larger cojones. Who knows. Anyway, the season is almost over and it is probably for the best. One more to go on Sunday.