Doing this race was not the original plan. Going to Gainesville, GA… visiting my aunt and doing Southern Cross in Dahlonega was the original plan… but ice storms in the North Georgia mountains caused the race to be postponed until march… So… what to do?
I decided to head down to Gainesville, FL for the Swamp Classic and do the road race and time trial on Saturday.
The Road race was three 11.5 mile circuits. With a few small hills (yes hills… I said they were small…)
We (the Masters Bs) were grouped with the Cat 5s (lovely). I started on the second row. A couple of guys jumped from the gun and I went along… we managed to do a lovely job of thrashing ourselves for 10 minutes or so only to look back to see the group 50 meters back… time to shut it down.
At that point I decided to just sit in and wait. Pretty boring for the next hour or two… like a decently paced group ride… By the end of the second lap I had that we were definitely going to stay together and that my best shot was to launch at the top of the final hill 400 meters or so from the finish.
Fast forward a lap and I was right where I wanted to be… right on the yellow line mid pack at the top of the hill… so I hit it… flying down the hill and picking up speed… I passed the front of the group and got a gap…. And the finish line was coming into view and so was this small incline… I'd noticed no small incline on the first two laps… legs slow down… downshift one gear… the finish line will not come too me fast enough… A rider passes me on the left … I try and hold his wheel… d@m#... Another rider on the right… the finish is slowly coming to me… I feel another rider next to me pedal… pedal… pedal… pedal… he's next to me pedal… pedal… his wheel nudges in front of mine at the finish.
Fourth… in the field sprint and 4th in the Masters B. My 180 BPM HR was the highest I have recorded since my late 20s
Caught my 30 second man, 60 second man, 90 second man (behind whom my 2 minute man was drafting?)… only my 2 minute man was riding a TT bike tho… and I was all geeked out with TT Bike, aero Helmet, 2 minute guy decided to take off with 500 meters to go… I finished right behind him.
Didn't stick around to see the results posted and that was really a good thing. Halfway home I realized that I never moved my chip from my road bike to the TT bike.. I kicked myself over and over again during the final hour driving home. Checking the results the next morning vs my Garmin file showed that I'd have been third…
Oh well.. another race next weekend