The race pace was pretty quick as there was a break of 3 up the road that was only a threat because of the teams involved. Both the biggest teams in the peloton were involved, and one of the strong young racers from Rad. They stayed out for just about 3 laps before we reeled them in, but we did see some great blocking tactics from the other two teams that most certainly threw a monkey wrench in the plans. Though it was done really well, very safe, but very obnoxious and effective.
We had just about a half lap of easy pace, but then as expected another break. Same teams involved, and all our chasers were either exhausted or holding back for the sprint.
I made some offers to former teamates and buddies to bridge the gap with them, and really wanted to try working with a new guy who I haven't had a chance to race with yet, but they didn't bite. Instead trying to "con" me into chasing down the break....not this time. I was saving the legs for the last 2km.
Josh put in a herculean effort a few times at the front, so I knew he'd be pretty exhausted in the uphill sprint.
Earlier in the race I'd picked out my gearing I wanted for the final sprint, and was planning my attack distance. So when we finally got to the last lap, all I had to do was 1. stay in front of the swarm. 2. hold a strong wheel for most of the flats (already picked on out earlier) 3. be flexible for changing conditions (ie don't get boxed in, be willing to let a wheel go, plan for pack movement) 4. test out the new sprint legs
It worked out well, and I was able to change up position from around 12th going into the base of the hill, about 5th by 200m, and finally upshifted, stood and hammered to take the pack sprint. As it turns out we almost closed the gap on that break, and I was 3 seconds back, so ended up 4th and captured the pack sprint. It was fun to hear my competitors yelling as I blast past them, and I let out a "war cry" on the way up the hill. Ha, that sprint was fun.
The BBQ afterwards was great and it was good to hear the stories from teamates.