When we arrived we noticed that our neighbors from the South had decided to come up to battle with us. Veloce Racing brought seven strong racers up and along with the usual suspects we knew we were in for a good one. On paper, this course doesn't look that tough. It is a circuit race held on a six mile course that we were circling six times. It starts off going downhill followed by mostly flat and rolling sections with one power climb that leads that gradually straightens out before a fast finish.
From the gun either someone from Veloce or someone from our team jumped off the front. There was never a dull moment. I want to say that we had five in the field and Veloce had seven. It seemed we matched up pretty evenly with them and every time someone from Veloce made a move we made sure we had someone join them. The pack would respond, bringing back the break and it would start all over again. Based on the first couple of laps we were feeling pretty confident that we could get someone in a winning break. The wind on the backside of the course can always cause issues but it was always a good place to attack. The pace was always more intense on the stretch leading to the climb near the end. Each time we hit the climb it seemed all of our guys were able to get to get to the front and help set a nice pace.
Fast forward to the final two laps. After a number of attacks Paul from Veloce took his turn and for the first time we didn't have anyone that could respond. The extra two guys they had were finally taking a toll on us. No one went with him and pretty soon he had the largest gap anyone had all day. His teammate Eric was also up the road but we were sure we would bring him back before the finish. After waiting to see if anyone would give chase for what was probably too long, we started trying to bridge. We got help from a few guys but not much. By the time we started the last lap Paul had a sizable lead....still manageable but it wasn't looking good.
With half a lap to go the field finally went into panic mode and the pace shot up. As we reached the windy backside it was evident that Paul was going to hold off the field. As we rounded the corner that sent us flying downhill we could see both of them up the road. "Hey, maybe this isn't over!" It seemed that everyone was just happy to sit in and race for third so about half way up the hill I attacked as hard as I could. As we took the slight right hander at the top of the hill I looked back and there were six of us. Hell, if we worked together we could catch these guys. The only problem was non one was pulling through to help me except Martin from Audi. Everyone else was just sitting on in. I yelled a couple of times but got no response. Martin and I kept rotating and we were closing fast on Eric but without the help of others we started to run out of real estate. I wanted to sit up but didn't want the rest of the field to catch us so I just attacked again. Everyone lined up right behind me and at the finish four of them were able to slingshot by and I crossed the line in 7th. Paul held on to win by 19 seconds and Eric barely hung on by just 2 seconds for 2nd place. We were disappointed that we didn't get someone on the podium but it was a great race.