by Bryan Hull
I struggled like hell to keep up with the lead group as a breakaway formed from the very start. It was full gas, with a huge cross wind, and a field that didn’t want to echelon. I fell off the back a few times but was kind of hanging on going towards the turnaround.
However, because I hadn’t warmed up I was already deep in Z5 and above threshold just trying to stick to the wheels of the stragglers. I started up front but didn’t want to work the front and was being punished for my sins. I fell off the back before the turn around but waited until then before putting in the dig to get back to the field as the wind would be behind us.
I spent the rest of the causeway ITT’ing back to the field. Luckily the pace had eased off and I eventually got myself back into the group before we hit the circuits. Once in the circuits the pace was much more touch and go which allowed me time to recover from my wasted effort on the causeway. We went through the circuit 3 times and I was under the impression there was no more breakaway and the field of about 25 of us were it.
There was a break though! Three riders had gotten away and stayed away that we weren’t aware of in the field. Additionally three riders who were ahead of the field but in a chase had taken a wrong turn and came up behind us. The moto came by and told us “two minute gap!” which came as a surprise.
At this point I didn’t believe that the field was going to catch the break since there were too many people and too many AFCU and Z5 riders that weren’t working the front. AFCU had a man in the break and Z5 thought they did but didn’t realize their rider was one who made the wrong turn. As such no one else was willing to work on their behalf, which I was fine with.
When we got to the 1km the break was already duking it out for the win, but I was up front with 2 AFCU riders and another guy who was on my wheel. The AFCU riders went hard at 1km to go and I snaked their wheels the entire time. When they let up off the gas the guy behind me counter-attacked and I took his wheel… Refusing to lead anyone out this time. He couldn’t sustain the attack so at about 7-600 meters to go I went HAM and went for it. By the time I rounded the 500m sign I didn’t believe I had it to hold everyone off… However once I glanced back enough to see that no one was surging towards me I went back into it at around 200m to hold it for 4th.