I hadn't felt like that since my first PIR races as a cat 5- it was a feeling of, oh crap, what did I get myself into. Starting with the end, I got popped off the back with 3 to go. Shit! But I still see this as a win because I know I can ride with these guys- I just need to be smarter.
I burned a couple matches on the first few laps, which I definitely didn't need too, I had some excess adrenaline. I settled in a bit and focused on holding a couple wheels. With 10 or 11 to go I put in another individual effort, probably at the wrong time...I was tired and the peloton started to surge. I barely hung on, but with 9 to go, the pace mellowed a bit, and I got my legs under me again.
At that point I rode alongside Pete (a team-mate) to say, "hey, it feels great to be here with ya'll". I fell out of my comfort again as the peleton tried to bridge up to the break(s), and I was near the back on the final straight, and with the wind, I just fell off.
Watching the finish, I can't believe the field splintered that much- that was crazy! This tells me it was a hard race for a lot of guys, and I know there were a bunch of DNFs as well, which makes me feel even more confident. All in all, this was a great experience and I can't wait until next week!
1. Even within 123's, there is a wide spectrum of talent. Might they go to a 1-2 only at some point?
2. I can ride with these guys...
3. ....as long as I am smart about it.
4. Riding with an army (more than just 2 or 3) teammates is the bomb.