Finally back to racing for 2012!
Let's start with the finish - I made it to the end and didn't get dropped! I met my major goal for the race, and am very happy. Final stats were - race length of 49min 50sec, at an average of 39.8km/h.
Now, back to the start... Rolled up just before race start, paid my $10, and got my number. Only about 25 in the race today - a relatively small field, probably due to the Bike Week Cup being held on the other side of town at the Nundah circuit. Figured the race would be a bit faster with less places to hide than usual, but that was OK - I wanted to test how I was going.
First 15min was pretty hard. Plenty of accelerations as the peloton sorted itself out. After that though, we settled down a bit. Pace was still high, but the variations weren't as great. We sorted into a pretty steady two-line paceline - I was stuck three-quarters of the way back, but while the pace was steady, I wasn't too worried about being so far back.
At 30min, the whistle blew for the sprint prime lap. I wasn't going for it, but worked hard to stay with the front so I wasn't dropped later if the bunch splintered. I was happy to stay in touch, and even happier when the front sat up and waited for everyone to regroup, and we were all back together.
At this point, my legs were feeling really good. I was working very hard, but knew I was going to make it - a great feeling!
The three laps to go sign went up at about 39min, and from there mass disorganisation set in. We caught B-grade, and it got pretty scrappy. We weren't neutralised, but had to sit up quite a few times as we caught the higher grade. In the end, just as we thought we'd get the bell lap, the commissaires gave us another 2 laps to go.
As we got the bell for the final lap, I managed to move up to the front third. I worked to try and not lose position, and was pleased to hold on. We swung onto the final straight, and I sprinted hard with everyone else - but I really lacked any top-end sprint, and only reached 52.7km/h. I couldn't pass anyone, so crossed the line about mid-pack.
So - again, very happy with the result. My legs are getting stronger and are handling the distance and pace, and I'll keep working on that before I worry about my finishing sprint. A great confidence-builder... :)