There is one thing that can be guaranteed in a race, your plan never goes to plan and today I managed to prove this theory. I was just stretching my legs at the front (not much of a surprise to see me that the front, especially with multiple camera's around the course) in order to start increasing that pace and suddenly I was off the front by myself and well clear. Checking my heart rate, I was doing alright and thought I would just steady my pace and wait for the group to catch me.
A lap or two later, I was still out there and the gap had significantly increased. By now, I had a reasonable tempo going and thought I would keep on pushing on (why not?). Once I let B grade pass (notice I used the word let), I was still well clear and going strong. The race was over half complete and I was almost starting to think if only I could keep this going.
Every time I hit the main straight, I could just hear the roar of the crowd over my excessive breathing. By crowd, I mean my supportive girlfriend. Unfortunately at the 26 minute mark, I was very slowly captured but I wasn't overly devastated. I think my pace had starting to wain and at least I could have a rest. In the final laps while jostling for position, I made my move up the pack but it was premature and I wasted my last chance. As the pace increased on the final lap, all I could do was hang on and finish around the top 10.
Overall, it was a great learning experience filled with pain and self doubt - if only there was a most aggressive rider award. I am still waiting for the sponsorship requests to come through, but they may be confused (just like I am) of where I actually live. Looking ahead, I have the punishing Stratford to Dargo followed by the Gippsland Crit Champs at the Maffra Mardi Gras. Both with the Wellington Cycling Club.