Knights Ferry 3s
2nd Place/ 40ish
86 miles of boring farmland on a 20-mi out and back with 180 hairpins at each end.
About mile 30 one of my strongest teammates solo bridged up to a 3-man break, making 4. We didn't know if they'd stick, but with him out there I didn't do any work. I occupied my time gatekeeping at about wheel 7, letting the strongest guys pull us around. Every minute or two I'd ease up and let a gap grow and grow and grow until 1, then another, then maybe 2, then like everyone, would bridge around me. Fun diversion that put a little hurt into guys legs that paid off later.
At mile 70 we passed the break at the hairpin. My teammate in the break gave the "we're done" sign so I positioned myself for the catch and counter I knew was coming. A handful of miles later we caught detonated break riders. A strong kid made the counter move and I let him roll to a 20 second gap.
He looked good, so I made sure I had a teammate on my ass and I jumped and went up to the kid. He and I both had teammates so we worked together and rode past 2 more detonated riders and caught the last one. Unfortunately it was his teammate. Blah, now 2 juniors vs. me.
I did what I could. Played possum, tried to gutter them in the wind and just drill it for a bit, tried to let one roll so far ahead his teammate went around and tried for the 1-2 finish while I snuck up on them in the draft. A lot of time to kill in like 13 miles with the 2 vs. 1 game...
In the end I isolated the more tired kid and let the fresh one roll 10 seconds up. Tired guy is happy to sit on me. I jump, drop him and at 1k to go (start of a 80-second finish hill) I flew past his teammate and took the lead. Thought I had it, really did. Didn't let up but as I'm grinding myself to death I see the other kid's shadow creeping up on me. ****.
I did what I could but he got around me and finished about a bike length up. Ahh well, hate to lose to two juniors like that, but everyone else in my field did as well. Happy with 2nd in my first race with my new teammates. Pretty nice to not have to worry about every break up the road being your only chance.
Here's the date: http://www.strava.com/activities/110491541
Easier than a very-easy training ride until the break, and even then it wasn't too hard. Lots of games, but not much stress until the final sprint where I tried and (as usual!) couldn't quite hold 'em off.