First bicycle race of the season, again this year, was Sterling. I did the old guys (35 +) race because I don’t have the distance in my legs to race 80 miles with the young guys. So I raced 6 laps of the hilly 8-mile circuit instead of 10.
This year went better than expected. I settled in after the first few laps. I didn’t ever feel I was in danger except when I found myself doing something stupid like taking pulls on the front.
By halfway I was starting to race for real, staying at the front, covering moves. I even lead the pack up the climb one time, got a gap but didn’t have enough in my legs to make it stick.
With 2 laps remaining it started to rain. We had brought back the break and I started to wonder about getting a result.
There were a few more attacks leading to the finale but nothing stayed away.
I was in good position as we rounded the final corner and the uphill finish. But I was impatient and dove down the inside, got bogged down in my gear, stalled out behind another rider and then hit a storm drain.
I managed to recover and for awhile I was sprinting my way into the top 10 until I faded out and was passed by four or five other riders before the line. I felt really good about the race until I realized only 35 guys were registered.
Maybe the race was slower this year. Maybe I was just better prepared. Either way I was happy with the finish.