I had missed the previous Tuesday night due to a work function, so was itching to get out there for some real time crit training. Every week it seems like there are new faces. I have no idea where these guys come from, but they aren't all just from Charlotte. Orr Road attracts guys from Winston, Spartanburg, Raleigh, etc.
I told BMiller on the way over that my goal was to sit in and conserve for the end. Never a chance. I found myself in a move with several other guys, one including my teammate The Judge and some other distinguished riders, so I really thought it might stick, but to no avail. Just never know what the mix or art needs to be other than raw power from enough racers.
Lots of attacks and The Judge did spend quite a bit of time off the front tonight which certainly eased my burden, but I also found myself on the front often setting false tempo. Many of those guys read that like a book and continue to attack on the mound we call a hill on the course. It is very hard to cover from the front and more difficult to cover so many.
Finally did decide to settle down myself and give it a go for the final, but with 5 laps to go or so Ben does attack and gets across to The Judge and MBotting (i believe). Sometimes I don't even realize who or how many are up the road. I give C Vigna credit for a massive one lap pull from there to bring it all back together, but it just didn't happen. Of course we get all the usual surges and people thinking they are sprinters with two to go. It is crazy how many folks actually think they will be in contention for the sprint. Confidence is obviously not lacking in this world.
At this point, any effort would be for third, but coming into the homestretch, the three man break was in sight. We were too late to catch them, but did manage to pass Ben, who had led The Judge out. Charlie, Matt and the field. RJenkins led me out and once I jumped it was in the bag, but you just never know who is behind you lurking on your wheel. Luckily this day it didn't matter nor did I ever look back to find out.
Man was it hotter than hell out there. I was fatigued, cramping and had 4-1/2 bottles and never felt great. I believe somebody told me on the way over that it was high nineties to 100 this afternoon. Heck it was 90 degrees at 9:00p this evening. Welcome to the South!