3rd in the Cat III race.
Short story: made the break with Win (DCVelo - 1st), Gregg (Coppi - 2nd), and Steven (ABRT - 4th). We worked well together. The three of them seemed to be suffering less than I was during the break (even though they did more work than I did). With one to go, Win made the winning move on the little riser going into the turn 2. I followed Steven, who chased but didn't make it across. I gave it a go and was closing slowly, but didn't have it in the tank to go all the way...resorted to trying to out kick Gregg, who was on my wheel, for second but didn't pull it off. Podium and a prime (6 pack of Rockstar Energy drink...the guava is the best, but does weird things to your stomach if there is no food in there with it). Those guys are riding really well and it was cool to be in the break with them. Looking back, I should have gone with Win when he did. I knew that would be were the race would be won, but waited for Steven to react as opposed to going on instinct. Costly mistake. Win was the strongest on the day though, so it seemed right that he won.
Now about being in the break. How much does it suck not to make the break? I was thinking about that some yesterday and today and I got to realizing that it shuts down all your teammates from "racing". If you got someone up the road, your role switches to "cover the front", "block a little" (just not enough to really be annoying), "go with guys who try to bridge across", and essentially be a royal pain in the @ss for all the teams that didn't make the break...but you don't really get to "race" for the win. I compare Ft. Ritchie (which I went into with the intention of going up the road) to Carl Dolan (which we had the strategy of keeping it together to give Brandon a shot at winning the sprint) and I got to say that I enjoyed Dolan better. I wonder how it would work out if you combined the two into one...say as an example:
You save your sprinter and lead out guy for the finish. Everybody else tries to go up the road individually and establish a break with the other "strong" men of the peloton. Once the group has been established for a couple of laps/miles they sit on, killing the vibe of the break, and let the pack catch back up. Once the leaders are caught, you send another guy up the road to repeat the same actions until all the "strong" guys have been tuckered out...leaving the odds better at the finish for your leadout/sprinter duo. Dirty tactics? Sloppy racing? I'd have to defer to those who have been in the game longer to know what the ethics on that kind of strategy would be. Personally, I think it would be pretty cool to orchestrate and pull it off. Seems like it would work too in theory.
Next race is going to be the CSC (or whatever they're calling it now) 1/2/3 after 10 days in Italy with Kari. One of the many highlights of this trip is going to be catching stage 13 of the Giro as it rolls through Lucca (we're staying there for 2 days). I'll try to take pictures, but the Italian wine and food might get in the way. :)