I never looked forward to racing in a field of 100+ riders, and to be honest, I was really hoping that for once the weather forecast was right and the rain would come in buckets, thus giving me a good reason to stay home and not race Bike Jam. It didn't happen.
At 9AM Jose Nunez checks in and gives me an earful for being in bed. Then Dan Dumwright texts to see if I'm going, after all, he wad riding with me. No other choice was left other than to get up and get my arse into gear. Dan met me at the house and off we went.
Upon arriving, we got our packs at the registration tent, checked the surroundings and talked to a few friends, then watched the 2/3. After their effort, a couple of our teammates came by and gave us some words of advice, the usual stuff, "stay at the front", "watch the S turn, go on the grass if possible", this and that. A good warmup followed and then we saw the last few laps of the pros.
The race itself was a war of attrition, and it pretty much turned out to be like the race last year. Fast at the beginning and middle parts, thinning the group considerably. But the advice given earlier wasn't working for me. It's one thing when you are the one inside the barriers doing the navigating. Nonetheless, I felt pretty comfortable and the guys from the team were mixing it at the front, while I was trying to conserve some energy. That was until the dude from HPC, who had gone off road earlier, aimed at my front wheel. Close call, an exchange of selected words and he was out of my way. Positioning continues to be a work in project, but I was happy with 16th, which gives me a good vibe for Murad and then my goal in July.
The funny moment of the day was when Dan attacked, went off the front and the announcer calls my name. I'm at the back thinking, "Dan and I got our numbers switched back at the car."