35+ 4-5's A

We had 7 original registrants, but started the race with Mark Hockridge, Bob Blythe, Mike Broz, Walter Golding, Jeff Slaton and myself. The initial plan was to get two people into any breaks that happen, block accordingly and save a little for the sprint if it gets back together.

The race itself started off very slow. It felt like a leisurely Sunday stroll for the entire first lap. A few half hearted attacks occurred in the ensuing laps but nothing substantial until halfway through the fourth lap. A Metromint rider attacked at that point and a couple of riders latched on that included Bob B. and a Wells Fargo rider. They established a considerable gap that the peloton was content with letting them go. The pace once again slowed in the peloton and DBC and Wells Fargo took control to assist the breakaway with their chances.

A couple of attempts were made early in the fifth lap to chase the breakers but nothing materialized until later in the lap. About halfway through the fifth lap, a serious chase group of about ten guys formed and managed to break off the peloton. After realizing the amount of riders and representation in the chase group, I decided I would burn a match or two and bridge to that group. It hurt to catch them but I made it fairly quickly. I looked back and the chase group had a decent gap on the field and DBC was on the front controlling peloton.

The chase group made a feeble attempt at getting organized to chase the breakers while I took a back seat and offered no help. The face of frustration on the chasers was evident as one by one they began to sit up and soon the group lost interest in chasing. The lead group gained more of a gap but shed the Metromint rider.

The peloton reabsorbed the chase group before the end of the fifth lap and Bob was unfortunately dropped by the Wells Fargo rider around the same time. Walter G. was collected in crash just before the start finish line and was not able to continue. (It was a bummer because he was looking great, especially for his first race) It took a couple of miles before Bob was reabsorbed by the main group around the feed zone on the bell lap. Wells Fargo at this point took complete control of the peloton. Several riders shouted out at DBC to take control and help bring the lone rider back. Ironically, the ones asking us to do all the work were the ones that had the largest representation-Info Vista and Taleo. These two stacked teams didn't do much in the race. DBC obliged but it was too late

The peloton conceded the win to Wells Fargo by the lack of action. It came down to a race for second place. Mike Broz started to drive the pace for the final 5 miles and he successfully strung the field out. Jeff S. and Mark H. helped keep the pace up as well and I managed to latch onto Mark's wheel for the the final 3-4K. The approach to the finish was as expected, a race to the final turn. The pace finally ramped up to a safer speed and everyone was looking at each other to see who was going to jump first. I was well positioned on the outside heading towards the final turn. Two riders from Info Vista made the initial jump from the far inside and I was able to quickly react. I was third wheel through the final turn. At the 200M I jumped and managed to get around the two riders in front of me. Those 200M felt more like 300-350 meters and I was nipped at the line by two other riders.

I managed to secure a 4th place finish and earned my first race t-shirt. I came home and proudly showed off the "Cows on bikes" t-shirt to my family. Hopefully, I'll be lucky enough to get a couple more.


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