It was not one of those days where I felt like I had anything special. The 35+ race was insanely hard- I was at my limit more times than I can keep track of. It actually surprised me to have finished in the top 20. I've done better at previous FR crits. I've also done a lot worse. Last year was a disaster. I barely finished the 35s and I got ejected from the Pro race after 5 laps.. Today's edition of the Pro-1-2 was where I felt good today.. that is, relative to the 35+ race. I think a more closely matched field makes a faster race easier to navigate, whereas the 35s is a much more lop-sided talent pool. I found myself a bottom feeder in that pool today.. but I evolved somehow during the one hour break in between races and felt pretty damn good in the Pro race. The hill was a breeze and following the accelerations was not hard to do. Yeah I did not do anything special at the end- a moment's hesitation on the final lap put me in tailgun position somehow and the only people I seemed to have passed after the hill were the guys who sat up. Still, I caulk this one up as a win because it basically took me four tries to be strong enough to complete the 35 race followed by the Pro race at this venue. A breakthrough of sorts I guess.
Gotta take a moment here to salute my team mate J Alain Ferry- 15th at Masters Nationals Crit and repeat 15th at the road race.. Top 10 at the Witch's Cup where he populated the winning break which lapped the field.. and today Alain was the only top 10 finisher in the Pro race who already had a [top 10] race in his legs (9th in the 35s).
For me, 17th and 21st sounds like I was basically pack fodder, but considering past failures at this difficult course, I'm pretty happy with my form in the 2nd race. Here's the field sprint from the 35 race below- you can just barely see 'ol Murat at the tail of this train on the far right. Yeah it looks pretty pathetic to me too, finishing 17th, but when you repeatedly grit your teeth and rally through those moments when thoughts of sitting up and quitting pollute your mind, I think it's a win.
Thanks for reading.