Pine Flat…….the race in the middle of no-where with a start time of 7:30 am. Its cold, fields are small, rattlesnake warnings are posted on the outhouses, and I want to run for cover when the Velo-Promo guy with the big white beard bellows like a hill-jack at 6:45 am ” EVERYONE! remember to sign the appropriate waiver. Last but not least, the neutral start is up a 14% miniature Alp Duez, and yes it does have switch backs. Great for warming up.
The down an dirty, sorry I don’t have any pictures.
Pine flat was pretty chill during the first hour, just a steady and solid tempo. I sat in but the boredom got to me eventually and I thrashed everyone on the descent out of the reservoir.. Vince’s teammates sat on my wheel and neutralized me. I knew that was going to happen.
Bunch of attacks followed on the flats……….had to reel a few of them in and bridged a few solo but it all kept coming back……..knew that was going to happen as well.
Not many teams represented, just a lot of strong little climbers and solo guys.
At some point, 3 guys slipped away and nobody even flinched……..they stayed away until the bottom of the days major climb, a 14 min steep grind, all were eventually caught except some guy I’ve never heard of who ended up winning solo.
Visibility was less than 1 meter, (dense fog and mist), on the climb and I could not tell who was who, or where. All I knew was, I was last, not cool….and got dropped doing 500 watts at the bottom. Since that effort is just too hard to sustain, everyone blew-up and I managed to catch everyone but Chris Phipps at the top. Vince, myself and two others proceeded to chase our asses off towards the last cimb, with Phipps charging about 20 seconds on a solo mission to catch the leader.
The finishing climb is about 5 min long with the final 200 meters pitching up to a percentage higher than I can count on all my digits and I just did not have it. Punch yourself in the face…..I was pedaling 45 rpm and going backwards……….Got 6th, right behind Vinny. It was funny though, as we were all cracked on the last climb…….each of us would attack, die, attack, die, and repeat……..it felt pretty pathetic, and I think I could have walked faster…………kinda like a 3 legged elephant tripping on its snout………chasing a monkey up a hill.
IT was fun………I think I am missing some top end from being sick………Really wanted to win………but just missing a gear.
Looking forward to Merco.