Life got in the way for a couple of weeks, and I missed races #9 and #10. So it was really fun to be back at the start line this week for #11.
Another flat course, another super-fast start. The start was hectic, and by the time the field settled I knew the leaders had gapped everyone else, and I wasn't sure where I was sitting. So I just tried to push and get clear. I've learned to just get away as fast as I can without burning out the legs immediately, and that worked out okay this week.
The flat along the lake was early in the lap, and a few riders came around me soon after that. (Either on the short, sharp climb that ends the flat, or on the CX-style section that followed.) But I was able to grab a wheel here and there and hold my pace, and managed to pull back a few places on the second lap.
By the time I hit the flat on the third lap, there was just one competitor near me. He tried to pass on the sharp climb after the flat, but I got ahead & built a lead on the CX section, and by the time I was headed for the finish, I could see I had a comfortable gap.
Just the same, I pushed hard through the last climbing S-turn to the finish, not wanting a replay of race #7.
There were lots of trains forming during this race for some reason. (I think the course brought the Sport/Elite classes together with the Beginner/Intermeditates more than usual.) I ended up pulling a few for a while before realizing they were behind me.
So, if I have a note from this week, it's to look for trains to jump onto on the flat. The two that I did manage to fall in wich picked up my speed by ~2mph, which is a huge energy advantage.
So, ultimately, I had an okay start, held my pace, managed to pick up a couple of spots on lap 2, and finished strong. Pretty good!