Two in a row!

My first real attempt at a sprint finish ended well, another win.

I had a pretty good workout yesterday, so the legs were feeling a bit... not heavy, but definitely feeling that I had worked them. That said, I do loves me the Richmond races and it had been nearly a month since the last time I lined up for a race so I was itching to get back into it.

The race starts and immediately is off quicker than any of the other races that had happened thus far. Everything was getting chased down, but unlike some of the other races, that didn't stop anyone from trying, which was awesome. By the time the first prime was called, my legs were feeling pretty good and I made a concerted effort to, not win it, but stay within close striking distance in case anyone went off the front immediately afterwards. Someone did, but it didn't last long. I hit the front very briefly and then drifted back.

This continued to repeat itself. My secondary goal for the evening was to take one of the primes as I've never done that either. Coming into the front stretch I was on the outside in the wide right hand sweeper, unfortunately, the entire race drifted to the left and I found myself up against the yellow line. I feel very strongly about these things and eased up, waiting until things opened up again. By the time the prime sprint was down to the three or so that were in contention, there were only a total of six riders in front of me most of whom were looking a bit blown.

This situation had worked well for me before, so I took off on the back stretch. A lap time that had gotten me a ten second gap six weeks go gave me a whopping 2-3 seconds today. One guy (from the largest team present on the day) did bridge up, but I wasn't really sure if he was chasing or bridging. After another half lap it was clear he wasn't going to pull through, so it didn't seem worth it to blow myself apart for another 10 minutes with a tiny gap. I eased up a bit.

Almost not enough, the race promptly surged as the most aggressive rider of the night hit the front again. I went straight to the back. Fortunately, it eased up then, one more surge and I would have been completely off the back, I needed the time to recover.

Fast forward a few more laps, more aggressiveness and nothing sticking. I'm mostly recovering from my 3 minute adventure as I only ever have a few matches to burn. The plan now was 'long sprint'. As we came around that wide right hand sweeper, the field drifted towards the outside. I noticed a familiar jersey sneaking up the inside and it looked like he had found a nice little hole. I followed and, when he drifted slightly towards the middle of the road, I just started accelerating in a straight line.

It was good enough.

All in all, pretty exciting, that was the first time I'd ever really sprinted in a race against other guys who were also sprinting. Generally, I try to sprint when no one else is.

It was fun, and I can totally see the lure to being 'the sprinter' and surviving until the end and then unleashing. We'll see how it goes though, I suspect I'll continue poorly timed attacks because riding off the front is 'fun'.

Some stats: My attack lap was 1:53, essentially the same as the first lap in the solo break from a few weeks ago. Average lap times were on the order of about 2:04 so several seconds faster than the previous races. I do enjoy faster races, assuming I finish them. Average speed for the race was just a hair over 39km/h.