The conditions for my first race of the season were 38 degrees and drizzly. Mmmm...Spring Classics.
Today I raced the 4/5 and 3/4 races in what I have deemed a pretty productive day. In the 4/5 race, I went in with the confidence that I was the strongest racer in the field and made sure everyone knew it. I spent all 40 minutes plus 5 laps at or near the front, jumped on anybody who tried to break away from the field and even tried to break away myself a few times. With a tail wind on the back stretch of a flat and smooth course, and a head wind on the finishing straight, though, no breaks succeeded in getting more than 2 seconds on the peleton before being pulled right back in.
As the lap cards began counting down the final 5 laps of the race, I knew that only to first three riders around the final turn would have a decent shot at winning the race so I put myself on the second man's wheel and stayed there watching for surges and moving with any attempts to take over the front. With one lap remaining though, I was forced to move to the inside of turn 3 and was pushed back 2 places, and fought hard to make those two spots up in less than 400 meters left of racing. I went around turn 4 in fifth place and sprinted to 3rd place in the field. After the 1st place rider was DQed for not taking a mandatory cool down lap, I was relegated to 2nd place. I'm happy with the result, and still learned enough to tell me not to get stuck on the inside again.
The 3/4 race commenced immediately after the 4/5 race and I had no time to recover from my previous effort and found myself hanging onto the back of the group from the beginning. This was not good. I proceeded to get stuck behind riders who were dropping and I didn't have the legs to jump up to the group so I was dropped as well. I spend 5 laps chancing and then dropped out once I was lapped. Though I may be bummed that I was dropped by the race, I'm satisfied that with my overall performance.