Well, I am still trying to digest the race, but I am relatively certain that it took a few years off my life! I knew the race would be hard, but I'm not sure I expected it to be quite what it was. We had no neutral today, so the start was a little different than usual with the action starting from a stand still. I was a little farther back in the start than was ideal, so I had to fight to get to the front. I of course had a small issue getting clipped in, too, which delayed my progress. There is something about a stand still start that inevitably renders me incapable of clipping in. It has happened to me before, such as at Snake Alley where I essentially lost the race because I couldn't clip in! Some things don't change from amateur to pro. Ah funny. Anyway, once I got to the front, I did what I could to help cover some moves. The first time we hit the climb, I basically went all in following a move, and that was maybe a bad move because it took me a while to recover! I went from the front of the field to the back in a pretty quick few moments! From there I spent the next several laps trying to get back to the front to help cover more moves. By the time I was able to get back there, the break had finally formed, and Thomas did a great job to get into it.
The pace relaxed for the next lap or so allowing me to try and catch my breath a bit. The first portion of the race actually went by really quick, and honestly, the whole race went by quickly. Heck, we averaged 41kmh for 200km! That speed led to an inevitable amount of discomfort though. It was kind of one of those slow onset types of pain where each lap you would notice that certain pieces of the course just got harder. The pace of the race slowly ramped up from the middle until it hit the climax in the last couple laps. I fought to stay in it, and despite my relatively high finish, I wish I would have been able to cover an attack in the last couple laps because that would be an important job done for the team. Instead, I was just fighting to get to/stay at the front. Overall, I am happy with how I raced still. From the team standpoint, we came up a little short of hopes, but it wasn't without good effort.
For those interested, here's my SRM figures for the day:
4:54:53 race time
244 watts average
153 bpm average
319 watts average w/o zeros- 4:09:03- this figure takes out the time periods where I am not pedaling.
4291 kjs ~calories
954 watts max
192 max hr- highest I have ever seen. Not sure if my hr monitor was malfunctioning or not, but I felt like I spent a lot of the day in the red zone, so it is probably accurate.
That's about it. Tomorrow we will take a train to Montreal, and then Sunday we're back at it! Supposedly there is going to be rain, but we'll approach that when it comes. For now, I am going to relax as much as possible :)