2.5-3 hours South of Atlanta. 4:40 am wake-up. Went down with Matt Hurst who was racing his first ever bike race at 9am. Our race was at 11. Met my teammate Steve H. down there. The rest of the team was in River Falls racing on Sat. and Tim pulled out a win with a lot of help from the team.
From the start one or two guys were going off the front every 5 minutes for the entire race. Sometimes we would chase them down, other times the peleton would let them go for a while first. Steve and I made a half a dozen attempts to go but the peleton always chased. At some point 4 guys were away from somewhere before the half way mark (of the 61 mile race) one at a time . Tried to organize a chase a few times as they were only 40 seconds up the road and had pulled back 20 seconds on them when the peleton had a good pace but could never get more than 2 or 3 people to work together to and reel them in. Guys were happy to wait and attach us but not help reel in the breakaway. We picked up one rider but 3 stayed away. In the final stretch, I was 2nd wheel with the guy I wanted to follow out for the sprint. Steve was on the other side of the road so as no one else could come by. The pace slowed as no one wants to lead a sprint out. The rider I expected to jump early didn't leave as the pace picked up so I jumped on Steve's wheel as we passed the 1k to go. Yellow line rule in effect until 200 meters… nope. Everyone jumped at about 500 meters (entire road). I went from right behind the first line of 3 guys to 6 or 7 guys back instantly, ran some of them down and finished 4th in the group sprint. 7th on the day. Pay out through 10th so I got my registration money back. Ya! 1 crash out on course and one at the finish.
Good day on the bike. Legs didn't have much spring in them until the last 20 miles for some reason. Flat course at a good pace, 24.1 mph avg speed for the day. Some wind but not decisive. I was able to do a lot of work at the end, stay in the front and still sprint at the end. Fitness is looking good going into the season. I'm down to 161 lbs which helps and putting out more power than last year. Hoping I can continue with the top 10 results or better this season. Not racing Perry next weekend but Union City Omni in 2 weeks. One of my favorite races as I won the State Road Race Championship there 2 years ago as a Cat4.