As part of my last hard training block for the Swanson Psycowpath, I decided to take on the le Tour de Husker crit. My riding has been pretty top-drawer lately, so I felt pretty good going in, even with the usual nagging self-doubts.
I had a plan and stuck to it with regard to pre-race prep and warm-up, and my bride was helpful in keeping my nerves under control. I went out for a last minute recon of the course and rolled to the line. Right before the whistle blew, I was in my zone and ready.
Whistle! Rolling... where the hell is my pedal? Damn! Finally clipped in and ended up DFL going into the first corner. Damn! Chased and rolled past a few, then fell into a group who would tow me across the backside of the course while I dropped them up the big hill before the finish. Imagine that - me dropping other riders on a hill!
The leaders were never in sight again but my group was never lapped. I don't know how close to getting lapped we were, or if we were close to being lapped.
Then I made my other giant mistake - I knew I could out-climb the other riders in my group and was feeling overconfident. Rather than waiting and biding my time up the hill and dropping them when they gassed out I went way way too early and ran out of steam, losing a place in the process. So, instead of leading my group in I was second in my group.
I ended up 13th, in a total field of 23 - 18 men and 5 women. Nothing to cheer about but considering the last crit I raced I was lapped multiple times by the entire field I am pleased. I can't help but think that if I had gotten a decent start I would have been at least in the top 10, but who knows.
Bottom line: Horrible start, rode hard, finished ok. No urge to quit, and pushed myself to my limit the entire race. Swanson should be fun.