Well as promised I was back to attacking today. Early one I set out to make the race hard, stay near the front, and stay out of the sketch. That part of the race was pretty awesome. I was off the front 3 or 4 times with multiple different people but no one would work with me and the group was as expected for the 34 field, chasing everything down. I spent the first 8.5 minutes or so attacking pretty incessantly. During that time period I averaged 254w, NP of 295w. At that point I recognized that I was getting close to the catastrophic limit for recharge time, when I'm close to the bottom of the reserves. So I decided to be smart and sit in and recharge, later on I might try something again, and if it came down to a bunch sprint I was going to launch anywhere between 1km and 500m where opportunity presented itself.
That is when I realized how much sketch was going on. Once I was in the middle of the pack it was kinda hard to move up but not impossible and I did a decent job staying near the front. Lots of bad lines in corners and near crashes, but at 3 laps to go it just became terrible. I'm guessing people were starting to feel tired (and I noticed it among people's demeanor). If I could have gotten up front I would have attacked, but I was stuck about halfway through the pack. About 2/3 of the way up the long grading hill going counter clockwise at the driveway, for now apparent reason there was a very very very near crash. Schreeching brakes, sound of bike contact and freaking out, the group widened to dodge the sketch point and I got pushed onto the rounded curb bumper thing. No big deal, except as I came off my wheels got stuck in a short gap between the track and the curb I was on. When I got off it something happened with my wheel... click, click, click, click. I opened the breaks that fixed it and I chased back on.
I was determined to not let it ruin my race. I chased on, and charged up to midway through the field. Ready to give it what it took to make the win I new I could get happen. Then Jake Lanoux crashed midway through the field, I had to slam on both breaks. Fishtailed and swerved around him and then 1 corner later 4 people went down, I had to ride into the grass to avoid that one. I was now out the back again and the crashes were all over the place. I had had enough, it wasn't worth putting my body on the line for the long shot I know faced. I dropped out. 1 lap later in the same corner 5 more guys went down near the front of the group. Very ridiculous. I'm looking forward to Chappel Hill though, and my head is back in the game.