given that my riding since the 2nd round of the wakefield two weeks ago races has consisted of one 3 hour ride at the shed, a quick spin at fairland, and 3 hours at patapsco this weekend i was rather surprised to see that the results from last night had me drop another minute off my time... down to 1:09 after a 1:10 two weeks ago and 1:14 the first week. strange thing is, i felt like c$@p last night. my legs felt completely off for my entire pre-ride, i ate & drank so much during my warmup to make up for missing lunch that my stomach was churning before the start, and on the first lap my calves cramped up when had a wheel slip and was forced to run the top of the hill into the finish.
i did have someone to chase (for the first half of the race) and someone chasing me (for the last half) to keep me honest, though, so that helped on the mental front. probably the hardest effort i've ever put into a wakefield race for those last two laps as the rider in pursuit of me would gain ground on the straights and then i'd build the gap back up in the twisties.
coming up to the powerlines on the last lap i thought i was done for. he pulled close enough that he was coming into the lower switchback as i was finishing the upper one so i put it all on the trail, figuring that if i could maintain the gap through the powerlines i could get out of sight in the trees and stay away. in spite of a bobble at the bottom of the last hill before the finish, the plan worked.
11th place of 16 starters. for me racing expert, that's not half bad. like 2 weeks ago, i was able to keep pushing all the way to the last lap. that's always seems to be the worst part of moving up a group in racing -- it takes a while to get used to the extra time/distance you put in, and until you're comfortable with that, it's hard to know how hard to push yourself. this year i'm not having the last lap meltdowns i had last year.