41st on the grid, rather than my normal 648th or so, was looking a bit too good so I decided to nearly miss the start. Pulled in about :30 before the whistle. Gus's timing wasn't as good. This course had a great prologue which went well for me, and then a series of turns which suited me just fine, followed by 'the big drop'. On my pre-ride, I decided that the right was the go and the far left was to be avoided at all costs. So when I got to drop and got closed out from my line I went with the extreme left line. And immediately endoed. And rode most of the hill on my head. And landed in the tape. From 41st to quite okay and back to DEEP - quick. Merde.
My team mates helped me with some great advice this week to move up aggressively like I have been, but to relax a bit and not be such a bull in a china shop and pedal stupid hard into places where I couldn't pass. Fortunately I internalized this pretty well, and after the huge adrenaline blast allowed me to re-pass a big clump of the guys who I'd let by, I got completely into the zone and just tranced through the turns. I loved the course. No need for brakes and lots of places to power past people. The long road section from the start line was great to big ring and just pound past big groups.
Before too long I could see the lead group not that far ahead and figured I was maybe in 20th? It was strung out but not crazily so, there were still packs to catch. Twist the throttle, stay on the whip and get done what I can. Someone told me I was in 11th at some point, I think with two to go. It seemed like the top 5 were in a knot pretty far ahead, probably out of reach, but there was still passing to do. Got by two guys, and then it took a long time to get the next guy. Halfway through the last lap, I got to Brian from DCMTB and passed him, whereupon he said 'you're going great, stay on it, man'. Aren't we supposed to be like clubbing each other in the head? Nice dude.
So as it turns out 7th was as good as it gets, and I'm pretty happy with it. It's only masters b but things started making a lot of sense last weekend and now the puzzle is really starting to take shape. My dumbassery cost me the chance to really be there, but I can see riding at the very front of a race like that.
Bonus point for only one guy passing me all race - Shane McCready. He had a rocket shoved up his ass. Wow. Nice pedaling man.
Everyone else on the team showed me up again. A win, a second, a third, and a fifth.
Another bonus point was that even after jinxing myself by posting about gluing tubulars, all of the many tires I glued that were used today stayed on no sweat. These included a guy who'd rolled a tire in EVERY race this year until we built him a FSWCX and I glued it, and poor Pierce who fd up his valve core somehow, so I loaned him an RFSW rear to replace it. He rolled his front (that I didnt glue). Jeebus.
I think I'm psyched for Schooley Mill next week. From what I saw as a spectator last year, I'll like it.
Stayed tuned for the photos of my endo.