Wishes of the clear weather coming in early where no to be, today's race was begun in the cold rain. Which made for slick corners and hesitant peloton.
Today's race was going to be a long one, 12 laps of 9.8 km with a couple of nice punchy kickers (think Ash Road). But was "shortened" to a final count of 11.
The first winding descent of the day solidified the first break of 6 riders as hesitant descenders caused massive splits through the corners. Caught out near the back the group I sent then next few laps intermittently helping out at the front, and jumping in a few futile bridge attempts. Realizing that my efforts were wasted at this point, with Red Truck and Langlois counter attacking hard anything effort to up the pace or start a bridge, a kept myself mid-pack and played the waiting game. Things were relatively uneventful with the break sitting at 2 minute advantage until midway, but when the gap came down to 1 minute, the fireworks started. I couldn't really see who was driving, but it a mix of Red Truck, Langlois, and Mighty. The next lap was attack after attack after attack which didn't end until we rolled up the break.
So no maybe 60% through the race and everything was back together. After a quick slackening of the pace for snacks and drinks, the race was back on. Being out of position and starting to feel the heavy legs, I missed the break again, which turned out to be the winning move. A couple futile solo bridge attempts went and failed, as the descents were way to fast for a solo rider to catch a group on.
The main group was now just doing enough to keep moving forward, and the gap ballooned from 2 minutes at 3 to go, the the final 5 minutes at the finish. I spent my time at the back trying to warm my hands. My waterproof gloves were very waterproof, holding a pool of water around my hands.
On the final lap, with the 6 out front and everyone in the main group looking tired, I liked my chances for a 10 ten in the final sprint. But over the final kicker I failed to get back into the big ring as my derailleur cable came off. So I lost contact and rolled in just behind the main field for 17th.
Lessons learned, test ride your new bikes before racing them!
Overall happy with how the race went as it was my first Cat 1/2 road race, and I learned a lot.
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