The final race of the series was yesterday at Boughton Farm down near Akron. I have been coming to this venue since 2000 and it continues to be one of my favorites. For the last six or seven weeks, due to work my training time has been limited to 4-5 hours per week. Most of this time has been on the indoor trainer. During that time my longest ride was the 2.5 hour group ride on Thanksgiving. So generally, the volume is down, frequency is good at four to six rides per week, and the hours were pretty structured with some intervals of varying length and intensity.
So back to the race. I got there early and dressed in the back of the Element to stay warm. Went against my usual protocol and decided to wear my warm cycling jacket during the race. I later regretted this decision as I overheated with about 3 laps to go and seriously considered stopping to take it off. I started towards the back behind Bill M and stayed right on his wheel for the first lap. There were a couple crashes and near crashes on the first lap with Ray H., Tom D., Matt W., and Dave S. losing time early in the race.
Gerry and Rudy were out of site within 3 laps, however, I could see Jeff C. up the trail and I was still on Bill's wheel. I was making time on the corners and through the woods and loosing time on the back roller through the field. With about 4 or 5 to go I got past Bill and caught Jeff. After about a lap, I had a gap on Bill and could see that we were catching Rudy (he had crashed). However, I was getting slower on the back hill through the field and Jeff took off. Then Ray and Thom caught me just before the woods and I lost time following there tenantive lead though the singletrack. This along with some fatigue allowed Bill and Derek catch me. On the last lap Derek, Bill and I were together through the wooded singletrack with me in the rear. Bill fumbled and Derek got a gap and took off. I stayed with Bill but he created a gap on the hill section while Derek checked out by flattening the last hill. So at the end of the day, I finished 6th in the 40+ A Race. Gerry took the win with Rudy and Jeff battling it for second/third and Derek and Bill rounding out the top 5.
Big thanks to Lake Effect for putting on the series.