Race # 5 (45+ Category), Augusta- In contrast to last year in Augusta when it was rainy and sloppy, this year's course was dry, hard and fast. We had the smallest field of the year toeing the starting line. We hit the first set of barriers in a pretty tight group and a rider went down in front of me coming out of the barriers. I was able to squeeze through against the tape along with John Johnson so didn't really loose any time but this sorted the field out a bit. I quickly slotted into a position behind Jim B and was able to stay pretty close to him for several laps; not right on his wheel but closer than I have been able to maintain in the past and I could see Lamar not to far in front of Jim. Marshal and I swapped places this week and he chased me pretty much the entire race just as I had chased him in Macon. After a lap or so I saw Wojtek hook up with Marshal behind me and then I experienced one of those Monty Python Holy Grail moments when I looked back and Wojtek was about 50yds behind, looked back again-he's 50yds behind, looked back again-he's 50 yds behind, looked ahead for 2 seconds and heard him on my wheel. He must have closed the gap really fast on the soccer field section. He stayed with me for about half a lap and then rode away on the paved section, I couldn't stay with him; strong ride by Wojtek! The leaders in the 35+ field lapped me as I expected on this short fast course and I didn't realize it till the results were posted but a 45+ rider passed me along with the 35+ leaders; guess I need to work on my situational awareness there and start looking at bib numbers. I don't think I could have done anything even if I had realized he was in my age group as he came around fast with the 35+ guys and I was fading at the end so I wound up in 7th place. Not sure but this may have been the rider who fell after the first barriers, that might explain the strong come from behind???
Some thoughts on Augusta-
- The uphill barriers on the front side seemed to get higher every lap; about the 4th lap I didn't get my foot over that second barrier and gave the crowd a little show.
- The grassy on camber descending turn on the back side was just FUN to ride, nice feature!!!
- I'm not sure if it was lactic acid induced dementia or an optical illusion with the course tape but on the zig zag section after the steep climb coming up to the VIP area I simply turned one post to soon and rode into the tape about mid-race. I was going so slow setting up for the turn that I didn't break the tape it just stretched out until I came to my senses and was able to stop and un-gracefully extract myself and get pointed in the right direction to ride on to the actual turn. Talked with Bobby T after the race and he said he did the same thing. Anyone else see the mirage there in that turn?
- After 5 races I am sold on the single front ring setup, its all ya need.
- I think I had one re-mount where I stutter stepped so a positive day in that regard.