So after the big screw up of yesterday, I was looking forward to something different. Last night swapped out the wheels and got ready for a whole other race. Today's race started with two decent climbs: both about a km long, the first was a 7% average grade and then a kilo of rolling hills, a downhill and you swooped into a very steady 10% grade that had a steeper section at the beggining @ 15% . Good climbs, both about 2.5-3 minutes long, perhaps not as long as I would like but they would have to do!! We had a small field at this race of 10, there were two guys I knew to watch. Wacek from Mt. Borah took 4th at Bloomfield yesterday, and then there was another tall skinny guy who won the Cat 2 race at Killington the previous year (Dereck Treadwell).
Starting out on the first climbs, we went what felt pretty easy just starting out. On the second climb Dereck gave a nice little dig and no one went with, so I jumped across. When I caught up to him he said, "I'm gonna pull back now just seeing who had the legs: you and I can go fast later." So I sat back down and rolled up to the top. We got up top and on some rollers up top somebody jumped and started soloing off the front a gutsy move. We asked around the small group to see if anyone knew who he was, if he was for real. No one knew him and we started chasing. We started down a nice long dowhill, but were not getting organized, then we turned into the flat section of the course with a pretty decent headwind. Here we got flowing, or at least it seemed like it at first. People were very jumpy, some people seemed like they had never pace lined before, some seemed like they just didn't have it. I ended up with "gap closing duty". For whatever reason, the guy in front of me was the jumpiest, and the least stable. I tried to switch spots with him but it didn't happen. I was struggling with this wind and it just wasn't happening. I got 2.5 pulls for every normal pull. I got the surges sitting on his wheel in the group, closing the gap too his wheels when he got out of the saddle everytime he hit the front and then I got my pull. It was awesome. I finally decided I was done tried to skip a pull and then the guy in front of me lost contact and I had to pull back another gap. Frustration levels were high. I was doing what I was supposed to do to try and save in the wind and I was spending too much energy. Then on one of my pulls, Dereck decided it was time to strike out on his own. I knew I didn't have it right away to respond, so I slipped back, caught a breather for 30 seconds to a minute, and then launched on past to catch up to the 3 who had just slipped off. I never made it, I was gaining for a good minute or two, looked like I would make the catch soon and then I just lost them. Hit a hill, didn't have the jump they had over it... time to slip back and hope someone fell off.
Back in our little group of 5, no there were three guys who seemed to be totally dead, me, and the jumpy guy. I gave the jump guy a stern talking to and he seemed hosntely sorry and then said essentially: let's dump the dead weight. I said sure, and we gave a small dig and we were off by ourselves. We rode decently up the climbs, but looking over the files it was nothing to right home about. I had dumped so much into the bridge attempt and into my little gap closing, I had depleted a lot already. They were good solid VO2ish efforts (250-275w) but I had done the second climb at 300w the first time and it really hadn't felt all that bad.
The rest of the race was pretty mundane, we got to the top of those climbs the second of three laps and the guy I was with said something along the lines of "I'm gonna stay with you." Apparently I 'impressed' him with my climbing despite having ridden hard before. We rode the rest of the race together similar pace both laps. No one fell back to were we were. Neither of us were strong on the flats, we lost 10 minutes to the leader and put 5 minutes into the group of four behind us. Not bad not great, but a whole lot better than yesterday.
I need to work on not working so hard in these races, I really burning myself up closing gaps and such which leaves me incapable of going with the moves. I felt like I tried to do it today but it just didn't work. I dunno though, I also think I need to work on going harder when I've been going hard already. Looking over my power file it was a hard race for me, I have to be happy with it and just be happy with the fact that I'll get stronger from it.