It was too hot in Davis. I was pouring sweat just from running my warm up on the trainer, in the shade. I rolled over to chat with Greg, Bill, and Taylor Cody (Team Mike’s Bikes) before we lined up. Greg saved me with a water top off and we were off to crowd the staging area and battle it out for a spot in the front. We all got good spots despite the mad rush for the line, but we still had 5 minutes before rollout.
Greg and I went hard off the whistle and sat in second and third wheel. Exactly where we wanted to be. Our field was so big that we knew early on that anywhere from the middle back would put us too far away to make any meaningful moves. The rider in first wheel pulled us around the first lap then popped off and sank back. Eventually Greg did the same and I was in first position. I pulled the entire pack for 2 laps straight as everybody sat behind me being lazy. When I figured that no one was going to attack or help me I started to let some people pass and sit in. I wasn’t aggressive enough holding my position because I ended up in the middle. Exactly where I didn’t want to be. I looked up and saw Greg sitting in the top 10 with Bill on his heels. I would spend the rest of the race, more or less, in this position.
I was too far back to see the winning break go, but I gathered what was going on when the announcers started yelling out gap times. I gave myself a little kick and started moving up where I could. The pack was nervous and rittled with flats, near crashes, and real crashes. It seemed like every few laps you’d hear somebody going down or a tire blowing out. Luckily I never got caught in any of that until the end.
Greg pulled out halfway through and I lost track of Jessie, so it was just Bill and I. Bill was about fifteenth wheel in the chase and I was a few wheels behind him, but within reach. I got up to Bill’s wheel going into the final lap. The break was 20-30s off by this point and definitely going to take the race (the guy who won was an Ironman triathlete who was riding a TT bike with road drops…I will hold my comments on that one). The field got all kinds of disorganized on the straightaway into turn one. Through turn two it got super sketchy as a few riders came off their lines and there were brakes squealing everywhere. Somehow I made it through unscathed, but I lost position. Bill called out for me to catch his wheel. We ran up the side a bit, but the field was so unruly at this point that I just wanted to finish. We hit the line 27th and 28th safely, and live to race another day.