Here’s Pat’s report from Tokeneke –
Our field felt big at the start, and I got squeezed to where I didn’t really want to be, but found opportunities pretty quickly to move into the top 20, and stayed there most of the race. My race plan for the day was to mark a couple strong guys, and make it hard on the hills if the opportunity presented itself. The first lap was pretty chill. The 2nd lap it felt like we were crushing it on the rollers in the middle of the course, but I looked back as we crossed the reservoir just before the finishing climb and we still had a good sized group. At least 40. A couple people attacked up the finish climb on our 2nd time up. I followed them, and it seemed like we had a solid group of 10-12 guys with a gap. I pulled through once or twice, but we were pulled back in short order.
Other than that short effort, I played it pretty conservative for most of the race, generally doing a good job at avoiding the wind.
The last lap was a lot of tight climbing, bumping elbows and avoiding people rocking their bikes. The last time up the finish climb we started hard and rapidly whittled down the group. I had to make several big jumps to keep with it as we shattered the group, first to 20, then to 12, then to 8, and the last little acceleration over the top got it down to a group of 6 that would sprint it out. I just kept going as hard as I could, trying to ignore my legs tell me stop for the 5th time in the last few minutes, but unable to get out of the saddle. Just keeping on keeping on – and in the little ring. I followed wheels and stuck it out for 4th. Climbing’s fun. Next stop GMSR!