My sunday race at Gloucester this year was much less interesting than my Saturday race, so let's start with a photo from my pal eyebob taken right after the day one race.
Ok, on to Sunday...
My lack VERGE points is starting to hurt. They give out points 15 places deep for each race, and Saturday's race was the third in the series. The top 15 isn't the same each race, so the list of call ups is getting longer and longer.
If you want to save some time reading this report, I can tell you I did not get points on Sunday either.
I staged on row 4, well to the right hand side again, and shot up that side of the course at the whistle. I had another good start and settled in around 14th spot. The course was different for day 2, and it featured a really steep and loose run up off the sea wall. I thought I'd hate this part, but it ended up working out to my advantage pretty nicely, seems that no one but me really wanted to run up it that hard.
Three laps in my 2008 nemesis... Mike Rowell from NEBC... was gaining on me. I knew this because his wife was cheering for me for two laps but she was quiet on lap 3. "Is he coming?" I asked. "yeah" she said. He past me 1/2 a lap later. That guy is the polar opposite of me, he starts slow but when he kicks it in he is a freekin' locomotive.
So I lost a few spots to Mike, Alan Starrett and Greg Ferguson who rode by pretty easily. I felt 100% better than the day before and my legs felt good but this race was super fast. As these guys were riding past, I could see a few others slowing down and feeling that the race was coming to me this day, I focused on reeling people in.
Todd Cassan was up ahead and with a few bursts through the technical sections I caught him. He's powerful on the straights, but very tentative in the turns. I was hoping that we would work together to bring back the places in front of us, but he wouldn't share the work, using his speed to beat me to the beginning of any of the twisty sections, and then just riding fast enough to keep me behind him. The riders that had been getting closer on laps 3 and 4 were pulling away on 5 and 6. Our pace was slowing and the guys behind us were coming back as well.
Predictably, Todd took me in the sprint and I settled for 21st place.
Last year I considered a top 20 finish to be a victory. I'd like to think that I should be in points by now, but these races are so fast I haven't seen one results list where I feel I would have been able to hang in the top 15. Bad attitude? I don't think so. I want top 15 badly, but there is no dishonor in loosing to those guys. I simply need to get faster...