The addition of a KOM prize for all divisions this year gave me extra motivation to get to the summit first, but I really wanted to get to the top solo so I could take the descent at my own speed. I think they let me go because they (and I ) knew they could catch me after the climb.
The new bike climbed and descended great and I was quite surprised that I wasn't caught on the descent and was able to leisurely ride through the neutral water zone at Isabel creek and fuel up on a couple gu's.
When the breakaway train train caught me, I was glad that it was only 5 guys and one of them was my teammate Chris D'Alusio. The others were Billy Innes and Kevin Metcalfe from Team Specialized, Dan Bryant from Sierra Nevada Specialized and Clark Foy from SJBC.
We worked well together until the small climbs after the feedzone I pushed it pretty hard to see if I could shake anyone from the group and we lost Foy, so we were down to an all Specialized group of 5. Since Bryant was the odd man out the rest of us started constantly attacking trying to wear him out. I certainly managed to wear myself out pretty good and got gapped a bit after my final attack was caught. It took me about a mile to get back on.
With just a fast descending 5K to go Metcalfe went to the front and drilled it all the way to the finish straight. With 200 to go Innes launched and took it to the line with D'Alusio finishing 2nd, and Bryant taking 3rd. I was able to go around leadout man Metcalfe for 4th.
Many thanks to SJBC for putting on a fantastic event! The spread at the finish was great and gave us enough calories to make the long cool down ride back to the start.
The black eye on the day was when I found out that my friend Brian who I had driven to the race had crashed on the descent in the Cat 3 race and had to be airlifted to a local hospital. By the time I got back to the start I found out that his wife Molly had come to pick him up and took him home. He suffered a concussion and a broken wrist, but was in good spirits when I stopped by to drop his stuff off. He may be off the bike for a while, but should be running again soon.