I'd never done Hillsboro-Roubaix but have heard good things about this race and we had a good contingent of XXX'ers headed down, so I was happy to be able to join in. I'm not in very good shape right now. I have a bit of speed as I had a good Fitness Check TT, but not much endurance and that showed on this course.
The 35+ race was only about 25 people and despite what the race flier indicated, the 35's and the 45's did not start together. That meant that my only potential teammate, Jay Star, would be starting 5 minutes behind me.
We did a fairly mellow first 22 mile lap of three. Several attacks by Proctor and Mack (who had 8 or so guys in the field), but nothing stuck. Then on our way through town after lap one 7 guys split off the front after the brick section and I was sitting too far back to join them. Most of the big teams were represented so it looked like I was doomed to be in the second group.
I did not feel well at all on the second lap, so I pretty much sat in. I did start feeling better on the climb through the feed zone at the end of the second lap, so I led that climb and the next one before the downhill into the bricks. That split up the main pack and we formed a chase group of 8 or so.
I continued to feel OK so I started joining attacks and attacked a few times myself, finally getting 4 of us off the front of our group. In the meantime the leaders lost a few riders so that we were riding for 6th place.
Two of the 4 didn't really want to work so I ended up drifting off the front of our group for a mile or two but they must have organized a bit as I eventually sat up and we were 4 again. I attacked again on our last time up the feed zone hill and shattered our group.
A 2CC guy bridged up to me on the flat section between the final two climbs and even though he had not taken a pull for the entire last lap, he still refused to pull at this point. I attacked again up the final climb but I was pretty spent and couldn't shake him, but I did finally get him to take the lead.
I attacked again on the downhill and dropped into my "suicide tuck" but couldn't shake him. We slowed just a bit and the Mack guy from our final group of 4 came right on by us. I tried to jump on his wheel but couldn't grab it on the brick. The 2CC slacker came back up on my wheel and we cat and moused it until about 150 meters to go. We were both spent but he managed to pull ahead and took 7th. I rolled accross in a well earned 8th.
I'm OK with my finish as I know I'm not in good shape right now and that third lap was REALLY hard for me. Fitness will come soon and I'm looking forward to racing then!