Back into the thick of things, I went to race the Mid-Ohio race course on Sunday. My hope was to get some "good sensations" in the legs, and perhaps remember what it feels like to suffer. The mild winter means I have been out quite a bit, so I was optimistic, hoping not to go here.
So Dave, Pete, Scott and I drove together and met Jason, Joe and Aussie for our 7 Spin. The field had 19 including the regulars, well those that did not do Barry-Roubaix the previous day. RGF had four, including Braumberger, Baldesare and Pendalbury. Batke and Weeks from Carbon assorted others.
I felt pretty good. Rolled out reasonable, and when a move went through the corners on the second lap, I was in position to follow. I guess I dug pretty deep and the counters went from the bigger guys... I was found lacking. Off the back by the end of lap two. I chased for two laps, again optimisism of getting back was crushed before the cat 4-5 field caught up to me. I attached to the back end and figured I'd practice riding in a group for the remainder.
After a lap with them, we pulled in Proppe from Lake Effect, and I chatted with him for a lap, mutually deciding to drop off the B field, and rejoin the A group. To ensure that we could hang onto the end as they came by we stopped at the top of the course to wait.
The lead group of 4 came by with Jason shortly after that, then the second group at 30 seconds with Aussie and Joe... and after another minute, the remainder. John and I jumped in, and I reported the situation to Dave... who already knew that and was deciding it was time to chase the second group back since it seemed Aussie was not having a good day and might be able to use some help. Three Spin and smatterings left in this group, the pace picked up immediately.
The good news is I did end up sticking with this group for another three laps before becoming dislodged on the hill and again not able to chase back on. I ended up racing against getting lapped again with two to go, and then pulling back the end of the B field, and getting around them in the last lap.
Not pleased with the result, though I guess it is the first time I've been out seriously since last August. A little bit more conservative racing, and I should have been able to stick it out a bit longer, though it appears I have some work to do to stay with the 123 fields.
The field ended up nearly bringing the second group back, at about 200m by the finish. The team ended up with Jason in third and I think Joe ended up fifth.
Good training though, on a fun course. Now I just need to do some work to REALLY get back.