Holy crap was it a beautiful day for HPCX. I got there in time to get in a course inspection in street clothes just after the C race. As I rolled down the one sharp down - up, my front tire catches hard and I go half assed OTB. That was odd...I look down to find 12" of my tubular rolled off the rim and collecting grass....wonderful. So I popped the tubie back on the rim and finished the lap easily. So I had that to worry about now and my bike was not shifting right. Luckily I see my teammate Ted and get to chatting about my crappy wheel and he rips off his tubie and throws it at me. Sweet! Got a new sweet wheel and off to get ready I go. Anyway I got a decent warm up and got my wheels in the pit and took one more half lap before hitting the line. They lined up by MAC series points and then order of registration. I hit the line 41st of 95. Ted points me to the outside lane to avoid any mishaps...yea...right.
So the race goes off and the guy immediately to my right decides to swing out - bang into me - and then turn right and totally stack it up almost taking me down. I had to soft pedal and then get back on it so at this point I was probably back in the 60 somethings...wonderful. I stayed on it and passed a bunch the first lap to get me into mid 40's probably. I worked through a few here or there and rode steady to get to the last 2 of 6 laps. Into the second to last lap this Castelli dude and a guy I've ridden against up in NY were staying close as I got through them earlier. There was a nice road section followed by a nice twisy climb that lead to pavement into the finish. Castelli dude drafts me and hits it hard going into the final section and I just put an effort in to stay close. Through the line it's Castelli, me, and Rick from NY with 1 to go. We're all pretty tight and I put it all down on the last lap. We hung tight and this time through the road section I draft the Castelli guy. I see him sitting up to try and hold back and probably save some gas for the last climb which I was getting him on. Into the climb I come around him and see a gap start to open. I pressed on but not too hard as I thought there might be a sprint finish coming up. Sure enough - yup. Castelli and Rick come charging hard and I caught them out of the corner of my eye as we get to the pavement section to the finish. They got close the gap to me but I caught them approaching and kicked hard. I got a little gap and they went harder and I kicked again. It was a long sprint but I held them both off for a satisfying finish. Of all my strengths, sprinting is not one of them so that was enjoyable.
So at the end my sprint was for 31st of 95 racers. Not great, not bad, but decent. I was 34th of 73 last year so at least I improved a little. It was a fast tight group for sure and a really satisfying day(45 minutes) on the bike. It must have been fast since I talked to Ted later and he said my race did two more laps than the B masters race. That's nuts.