A couple weeks I got off the front for good amount of time 15-20 minutes off the front. Once with a large group and once solo, both times caught though. So I decided I needed to be a bit smarter based on the course I was on and what would work. This week I came in with a plan, I don't have a great sprint but I've got good 1 minute power. I figured I would go a little early and hold the field off. The course almost always came down to field sprint, so I would sit in and then as soon as there was a lull inside the last 1k I would jump.
I did exactly that and it worked exactly as drawn up. At 4 laps to go I moved into the top 10, and I maintained that through the last lap. At 1.5km to somone tried to go extra early (too early). The pace picked up as the whole group grabbed his wheel. We whipped around the long, lazy u-turn and then there was an ever so slight lull, I jumped at ~ 500m to go. Stayed out of the saddle for about 5-10 seconds and then sat down got as aero as I could and kept motoring (looking at files it also seems I knocked it down a gear after sitting). At one point I snuck a look under my arm to see if I had the gap and I had a gap of ~20m. Kept on charging and when I knew I had it raised my arms.
Racing bikes is a lot of fun, winning bike races is pure bliss. It is a bit addictive really. When it happens frequently you start to expect it and without winning you get irratable, when it happens occasionally it is just like nirvana every time it does happen. For me this is win number 2 or 3 of the year (depending on if you count time trials) and podium #4 or 5, but this was the first time I got to raise my arms. Last time I won a mass start race it was close enough I didn't know whether or not I had won. This time I did and it was awesome, that realization of "HAHA I ACTUALLY DID IT" in raw physical form. Good stuff.
For the power nerds: a couple of charts, first my finishing "kick" and then the whole race with 30 second rolling averaging. I'm currently 53kg