I think I was duped in a race... tell me if I'm crazy.
30 mile road race with yellow line rule in effect. We're coming up on final turn, about half a mile from the finish. I'm psyched! I'm in the front 3rd of the field, in really good position for the sprint. Maybe I'll finally place! Yellow line rule is over after the turn, but damnit, one of the more aggressive women (who's been violating that rule all day without penalty) makes a fast lateral move into me, forcing me over the line just as I'm accelerating. A teammate of the aggressive woman screams at me to get to the back of the field (established penalty for yellow line violation) and I take my lumps... I drop back, then start making my way forward again, and sprint my ass off to a finish in the middle of the field. Proud of my effort but not happy.
Then I start thinking... should I have dropped back? Was I tricked? I'm a new racer, and I'm just getting the hang of pacing and tactics, let alone the psychology of racing. I've heard stories of people yelling all sorts of crazy things to get other riders to falter... words of encouragement for others to take risks and burn out too fast, faking mechanicals to get the field to slow down... Now that I think about it, I should have just held my position and let them protest to the officials. Right?