Red Kite Bump Circuit Race 45+ 3/4

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It was pouring rain as I awoke in Danville on Sunday morning.  My wife gave me a snide look (and remark) as I left feeling a bit nervous by the weather conditions and worried of the thought of racing/crashing on a course I’ve only ridden a couple of times.  As I arrived the Livermore weather was clearer with only a few sprinkles in my reduced warmup.

The race began with a combined field of 45+ and 55+ field of roughly 60 Category 3 and 4 riders.   The first lap was fairly fast with teams working at the front not letting anyone escape.  The second lap slowed considerably and became more tactical.  Based on the crosswinds and the bunching at the front I knew that I needed to move up during the last lap to have any chance near the end.  While it rained on the lower western slopes during the first two laps, the third lap provided a thorough soaking.

On the Greenville hump I moved up to about 10th wheel and stayed there with the tailwind until the left on Patterson.  At the Flynn crossing two guys moved ahead with a large gap opening and no one willing to chase.  The teams seemed to disappear and all of a sudden I was in front pulling towards the breakaway.  Glancing back I didn’t think I could bridge and didn’t want to pull everyone only to get swallowed.  Approaching Cross I was third wheel and then did not have enough left for the sprint up the bump.  I was nipped on the line and crossed in 7th of the combined 45/55+ field but first of the Category 4 racers.

Overall it was a good start to the season.  My worries were unfounded…  The race was relatively safe with many good wheels to follow (and a couple not so good ones).  Looking back I could have tried to bridge as there were only 15 in the chase group of the front two up the final climb…but hindsight is 20/20.

Dan

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