Had a good long warmup on the trainer while blasting Jack Johnson on the MP3 player to relieve some of the pre-race anxiety. And there was a lot of anxiety, but it came down to time to roll the start/finish and I was feeling more relaxed. Thank you Jack!
Race started a bit late so I road some side streets for a bit to keep my legs warm. A little trouble clipping in at the start, but got right back on track. Listened to my coach and the advice of others to stay in the top 15-20 riders to avoid trouble - i.e. according effect, crashes and getting shot out the back - and it paid off. I was doing a lot of suffering at 95-97% of my maximum heart rate for half the race managing to hang on to all the surges when someone would attack up the sides. The attacks were quickly chased down and the field was gradually becoming strung out through the quick turns on the back stretch. I was able to make my way up to eighth wheel and hold there for a few laps before tucking in a little further back during the prime laps as I didn't have the gas to go for anything. My body began to adapt to the high intensity I was working at half way through the race and I knew I'd be able to hang on up top.
The last lap everyone ramped up the pace quite a bit and we were coming into turn six hot in single file. I was sitting about 15 wheels back when I see a guy two wheels ahead of me washout in the turn sliding across the pavement in my line. I grab a fistful of brake and I'm able to make it to the outside gutter. I'm clear! Wrong. BAM! The guy on my inside saw the crash and was trying to avoid the downed rider. Well, he did not look where he was putting his bike and put it right into my front wheel, taking me out. F'ing bonehead. Now my wheel is out of true, shifter hood and bar tape needs to be replaced, bibs have a hole in the arse and I've got a nice patch of road rash on my ass with some minor road rash on my wrist and elbow.
Shit happens. It's racing. And there's always next weekend. At least I'm not any more injured than I am. Most importantly, my bike isn't really all that damaged. Mostly cosmetic, but I needed something to complain about! Do I need to change the title of this blog now since I accomplished being a pack fodder? Nah, I'll at least wait until I finish a race as a pack fodder.