Arriving at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base at aroung 7am, I figured I had plenty of time to get in and warm up for my 8 o’clock. Boy was I wrong. Security was tight and the one guard worked over the line of cars like we were trying to enter the Green Zone in Baghdad. ID check. Mirror examination of the car’s undercarriage. I finally got through the line and waved through and arrived at the race at 7:30. After checking in, it was 7:45 before I was dressed and on my bike. A few easy warm-up laps brought the grim realization that the northerly on the finishing straight would eat us up, but at least likely keep us together.
The race started simply enough. No one tried to kill it thankfully. That gave me time to warm-up in the race. The laps were rolling fairly simply we’d slog north at 23-25 into the headwind, turn around hammer south at 28-29 into the tailwind. It had an easy rhythm to it. Mid-race there were a few attacks. In one, three Nature’s Path riders had a dig and got a gap. Wasn’t going to let that go and pulled it back. In another, a Fat Frogs rider got away and, with a few riders on the front, they shut it down. No one else was paying attention, so I got on the front and pulled the race around for a lap, cutting the deficit and he faded in his last solo stretch in the wind.
Above, I’m following the Nature’s Path riders with Anthony from Fat Frogs.
I got on JB’s wheel (above) for the last few laps, hoping the pace would slowly ramp up and I could ride the magic carpet, but Fat Frog’s Anthony took a dig with a lap and a half to go, so I had to follow. He didn’t get away, but succeeded in amping the speed for the last lap.
I positioned myself well in fifth wheel about halfway through the last lap, but going into the final turn at about 28mph all four in front of me just lost all momentum and I rolled around them. I had no choice but to hit it as hard as I could even though I was about 500 meters from the finish.Here’s the finish. Please excuse the latter half of the video. I haven’t figured out how to edit yet and I failed to explain how the camera works well to my volunteer cameraman. Thanks Mike! Really appreciate it.
It’s kind of hard to tell what happened, but I stayed on the front for most of the straightaway, figuring I’d be swamped. Matt from Nature’s Path came off my wheel and around in the final 100 meters or so, but I held on somehow for 2nd, barely nipping Chris from JRVS. How I held on so long, I’ll never know. Topped out at a mere 34mph in the sprint. That headwind was killer.
My Tripower teammates represented, especially Fireman John (above) who had his best result this year in 4th. JB definitely helped me a few times during the race and got 13th. And my new idol, Pete T. (below), got 14th at the ripe young age of 64, remarking that our Saturday training rides are harder. Hope I’m still riding like he is in 20 years: