what happened to 14Stone? You dropped him from the end of your report for some reason...By far the most insane weather conditions I have ever raced in. -12c on the start, plus windchill. Was wearing enough layers to take me up to Clydesdale weight.
This was supposed to be a tune-up race for me. But of course, the red mist descended after the start and it became a race of epic proportions. I had scoped out the dreaded rail trail before the start. It was packed snow but I could tell that the more bikes went through it the more chewed up it would become. I decided I did not want to risk crashing and injury this early in the season and made the decision I would tuck it, take it easy and not take any dumb risks. As it turned out, a lot of people must have had the same idea and I passed a lot of riders. They cut the rail trail section a little short this year, apparently because the last few km were a bit sketchy.
Anyway, got out onto the road and was pretty much by myself, although 14Stone, whom I assume has been doping all winter, was a little way ahead. I caught him and he returned the favour by dropping me on a climb. I caught him again and passed him, and bridged up to a couple of guys. We got a decent pace line going and around 30k, caught a bigger group just as we were going onto a long false flat going into the wind. Sat in and then pulled ahead with my original group. At this point one of my teammates mentioned that I had been spending a fair amount of time pulling, and suggested I take a rest for a few km. so I did. Just as 14stone found another gear and left our group behind.
At this point we were at 50k. I decided to go on the attack too and promptly bonked (I went with a water bottle full of perpetuum as I knew I would not be able to open gels with bulky gloves, and the bottle had frozen up by then). If it hadn't been for a banana at the feed station at around 55km, I doubt I would have finished.
Made it back to the rail trail and started grinding. The snow covered sections were fine. The dirt sections were like riding through oatmeal. Up the hill to the finish and collapse into a sobbing heat in the finish line, 16th of 44 in my category, 30 mins out of first, and pretty much right in the middle of the pack overall. There is some room for improvement but this bodes pretty well for me being able to keep up with Rocket Dog at the P2A