Rolled out of G'dale at 5am made Campo by 7:20, 27 degrees and the wind was starting to pick up. I cut my warm up short as I was getting colder not warmer! It was about 31 degrees at roll out.
This was my first race in Cali and what a fun fun race Blvd is. I think I had more fun today than in any race I've ever done. It was cold and windy but the course was just awesome. It starts off on a slight downhill with a few rollers. Then it kicks into a full blown 40+mph decent for about 6-7 miles. Then we turn right into a 4 mile stair step climb then another right into the finish climb of about 4 miles.
We had a field of 87 guys and first lap pace was pretty easy until....we hit the finish climb. I was near the front for most of the first lap, maybe to much time. As we hit the finish climb a Helen's rider and I got on the front and put down a pretty good pace. This went on for about 1 mile when 3 guys came around us and really drilled it. This was about 5% harder than I could handle and I was barely hanging on to what was now a 40-50 man group. I started to lose contact but clawed my way back to the tail end of the group at the start finish line.
We really started to push the rollers and then the descent, about 2/3 way on the descent we caught the womens group. The marshal didn't neutralize them and we had to squeeze by on the right. This helps cull the field down a bit. I felt like I was starting to recover and downed a gel as we turned right to the stair step climb. About half way up I started to slip back, from third wheel to 10th then 15th then off the back. I wasn't alone there were about 8 of us who formed a grupetto as the leaders slowly pulled away. At this point I rode tempo and tried not to get dropped to far off the front. I pulled the group to the finish climb where we caught one of my teammates. My legs came back right about then and I was able to ride off from my gruppetto. I caught two more guys to finish 31st. My teammates finished 12th and 15th.
It's funny how in just a few minutes my race was really over, then a few minutes later I felt like I could have won. My power profile from the last ascent of the finish climb was 10% higher than the first lap. I ended up gaining back about 30-45sec on the leaders to finish about 45s behind. I really felt good afterwards with little fatigue in the legs and a pretty satisfied feeling with my overall performance. I feel like I'm right on track to be in top form for San Dimas.