For the first time in maybe forever, I showed up with plenty of time to warm up, and yet still managed to get to the starting grid too late to secure a good spot. That meant the first few laps would be thrown away efforts just trying to jockey toward the front. But this time I managed traffic a bit better and found the leaders within two laps.
Once again this race settled into a pattern of blasting out of the hairpin and sitting up on the back straight, a behavior I simply do not yet understand, because on several laps we gapped the field, only to let them reel us back in. In fact, on one lap the peloton nearly freight-trained past us on the inside.
The race was full of the usual aggressive antics of Yellow Armwarmer Guy from February's William & Mary race, but people are learning to stay away from him, which means when he makes a move, a hole opens behind him. I jumped through that hole a few times last night before folks wised up to that maneuver.
As the race wore on, I started really doubting my ability to hang on to the end. I hadn't put in very many miles last week, and had just done Wintergreen on Saturday. So I just made it my goal to hold the draft off the leaders and not get swamped in the peloton, and suddenly there were only 3 laps to go.
Coming around to the 2-lap mark, I knew to expect a lull and a formation for a big sprint finish, so I put myself on the outside of the back straight to prevent getting pinched, and as we came back by the line, the commissaires had forgotten to flip the board from 2 laps to 1. Even though the bell rang, a bunch of folks went by what was on the board and set up another lull & formation attempt.
Around the final turn, half of the leaders jumped. As I was hammering, I heard a bunch of exclamations that it wasn't the finish, but it was. And I was in decent enough position to make a go of it. Unfortunately YAG was directly in front of me, and either blew up or misjudged the lap number, too. It took me a moment to find space for the pass, or I might have been a bit further up the order.
As it was, I crossed the line in 7th place, my first points!