Race #2 of the LWV series.
I was injured and did not race the first one in Silvana. I have always done well at Gig Harbor for some reason so even though I wasn't quite back to 100% I was planning on giving it a go. This is the one race of the series that features a little climbing.
I had one teammate racing in the Masters 35+ field so I decided to race with him instead of going solo in the 1/2 field later in the day. The weather was incredible and it was nice cruising down I-5 in the early morning hours with no traffic. As I crossed the Narrows Bridge I could see the marine layer hanging over Gig Harbor. It could be a foggy for the 9:00 start time.
Registration was not quite ready to deal with us when I showed up so we all just took our time getting ready. There was no pre-reg for this race so by the time they did finally the registration area situated the line was quite long. By the time I got registered we had about 40 minutes until race time..........We thought!
I hurried to get at least some kind of warm up in before the race. We got a lap in and then headed back to the staging area and found out there was a major problem. Someone forgot to grab the lead/follow car race signage...DOOHHHH!! We were told that the race might be cancelled but to hold tight. Confusion was in the air...along with a little fog. I went back to my car and told everyone what was going on. We were soon told the equipment was on the way and the race would be delayed by one hour. OK, that would give the marine layer a chance to lift. I rolled out with a good size group of guys and took a couple more laps around the course. We returned to find that we now had a solid start time of 10:30. This was now causing many people to make a decision whether to race or not. The whole Garage team packed up and headed home along with many others. Crap....this was going to make for a small field. Not so....By now many guys racing in the Cat 3 race at 11:00 and some from the 1/2 field were starting to flow into the lot. Many of them decided to get into our race instead waiting around an extra two hours for their race.....Field size was back up again and getting stronger.
Lap two started the same but played out differently. Randy(KR) decided to attacked hard and got a big gap. I had worked hard on lap one so I didn't want to do anything to help chase him down. I was hoping Andrew(Bikesale) or Marcus(Apex) would lead the charge since they were the two sitting the highest in the series standings. No one really did anything and we just watched Randy go. He held his lead throughout the lap and kept it after the 2nd run up the hill. When the rest of us hit the climb for the second time I was having no problems staying near the front. After the descent I think guys remembered how short this race was and started to punch it. A bunch of us took turns up front including my teammates Scott and Mark, Erik and Zqwan from Cucina, Andrew and Marcus. It wasn't too long before we brought Randy back.
The final lap was a fun one. Things were starting to heat up. Andrew, Mike and Marcus all moved so I made sure to get my but up there with them. Small attacks mounted but everyone was paying close attention to make sure they were in good position when we hit the climb for the last time. I knew that it was going to be a leg burner. All the favorites were right up front and no one let up after we made the corner at the top. I think we dropped a few guys but we still were going to have a shootout at the finish.
As we hit the short downhill section I looked back and saw that we had dropped a ton of guys. We passed the 1K marker and I found myself sitting right next Andrew and on Mike's wheel. I can't out sprint Mike head to head but at least drafting a super fast wheel. I saw the 200m mark up a head and decided I was going to put my head down and go. If the officials said something at the beginning of the race I wasn't listening. There was no way that marker was at 200m. My brain told my legs to do an all out 200m sprint and with about 40m to go my legs were done. I was right behind Dave and Andrew and was just hoping I could will my bike to keep moving forward to get third......Not so. Mark came flying around me, which was good but so did Marcus, and then Scott(bikesale). I still managed to get 6th and was pretty happy. Mark took 4th and Scott came in right behind me in 7th. Three of us raced, three in the top 10. Not a bad day.