Skylands Cycling Augusta Training Series by MPF Athlete Evan Fineman
So I went out to Augusta Tuesday to race the B Race for what might be my last time as I now have enough upgrade points to travel up...and this was also my first roadie race of the year.
I hate getting here coming from NYC but I love the course as it suits me well with its little hill and chicane features. So I got there with about 10 minutes to spare and got in a few sprints and one time around before the gun.
The group was on the larger side as they got rained out the last two weeks. 35+ of us lined up and went at it. It started a little fast and furious with the young-ins jumping off the front. I saw a whole group of guys I knew from the rock and racing in general and I could tell it was going to be fast.
As I didn't get to really warm up, after the first solo break was caught I went off the front to shake things up. The backside was its usual windy self so I knew not to go that early solo and no one jumped with me so I sat up after about 5 min. And then I waited and waited for them to catch back on. My legs felt okay but I knew I couldn't go that early and solo after my race on Sunday (SIngle Speed-A-Palooza Mountain Bike Race).
About 35 minutes to go a group of 6 strong riders jumped and then I was able to bridged across with another guy puling. I made it into my first successful breakaway group. We got organized immediately and formed a 2 row rotation with short pulls. The young-in kept losing his train of thought and the past winner was looking really strong. We all got short pulls and distanced ourselves from the group quickly. There was 6 solo guys and 2 guys who were teammates and they knew how to work it.
I felt like my chances to sprint against this group to be pretty good as I watched how they handled the hill etc. and how skinny some of their legs were :). So I really wasn't up for trying to lose the weak links at any point.
We kept it together even with some surges and games on 3 to go. On 2 to go we slowed as guys needed some rest and were trying to get position. With 1 to go we ramped it up and I got myself sitting 7th wheel to rest and get ready while keeping an eye on the teammate game. They showed their hand about halfway through 1 to go but the strong past winner pulled to the front. As we crested the hill I sat patiently and then we went...
I took the outside line and let them pull me up and then broke to the left beating the past winner to the line and losing to the young kid who went the other way and floated across the line.
What a blast!