AZT, Congrats on a great result. It seems like you raced very smart. I completely agree with your assessment of worrying about the second group catching and dropping. You were at your limit with the lead group. Once you went OTB, you were very vulnerable. On the next pro race on TV, watch what happens to breakaway riders that are absorbed by the pack. Many times they go OTB of the peloton. The problem is that the second group is within their means and getting ready to increase power later in the race. So it was great that you could hand with them and lead out at the end.
You talk about HR but how was your power? I do not care about absolute numbers but did you ride at z4 or z3 and etc. I assume you were at z5 when they blew you OTB.