So I decided to enter the monday master's series at PIR tonight. I was going to wait until the Tuesday series, but I figured since I've never raced outside of cyclocross it might be a good idea to get at least one race in the novice masters under my belt before I attempt the infamous Tuesday 4/5's. My legs were also fried from yesterday, but they were feeling good in the afternoon so I figured what the heck.
The nice lady takes my $ and I line up with the others for a 6:15 sharp start time. Cold, cold strong westerly wind which will make for a strong headwind finish. 24 riders, some looking really mean and fit, others looking like they need some miles! From ages 30 to about 50.
I was warmed up so I decided to stay near the front the first couple laps and found myself pulling into the headwind on lap 1 and 2. Feeling a bit used, I drift into the middle of the pack on the next few laps. I'm thinking to myself I'm feeling better than I should be after the monster cookie yesterday. 5 laps go by and all of a sudden this big guy attacks right before the bell lap. 3 men give chase but totally die on the backstretch. Again I find myself at the front of the peleton catching the chasers. So I figure what the heck, I'm gonna catch this guy out front. So I bridged up to him, look back and 20 riders right on my tail... Bell lap, I'm thinking I can win this thing.
Quarter mile to go we turn into the headwind on the finishing straight. 2 guys attack way too early. I grab the second guys wheel. The 3 of us have a small gap - about 300 yards to go and suddenly a train comes up on my right about to pass. Is it to early to sprint? Hell, I don't know, it's my first freakin' race! So I pull out into the wind and turn on the gas. I look for the finishing line and throw the bike out front like I know what I'm doing. Absolutely exhausted, I look back and realized I had a nice gap at the finish and I won. Don't know how I did it, but somehow my tactics bore fruit.
Thanks Bob Roll, Paul Sherwin, and boys, couldn't have done it w/o ya.