Straight shot out of town, up the $200 prime hill where two riders went for it. They both sat up after the sprint and the lead group reformed. I looked back before the last few rollers before the first single track section and the group of 15'ish or so I was in already had a gap on the rest of the field.
Into the first section of single track, things started to thin out and by the time I got out onto the first short road section, my Garmin 500 turned off. Awesome. Guess I left it on all night, so the next 90 or so miles would be without no heart rate, distance, temperature, etc. Maybe that was for the better.
Into the first hella hike section and out of the park and into the fun roller section of single track with nobody behind me in sight. I started picking off riders and making good time.
Caught a group of 4 or 5 riders on top of the roller section and proceeded to pull away from most of them, taking one rider with me. Through aid 1 and through aid 2 we would roll along.
Right before aid station 3, I gap the rider with me and come up hot on a turn - not initially seeing a sign or marking, I stop about 30 past it in confusion. Mike catches up to me, we decide to go "this way" after some initial standing around and proceed to start riding again. Some 5-7 minutes later, we are right back where we were previously. I am guessing I lost somewhere around at least 10 places and 10 minutes. Frustrating to say the least, but my head was down and I wasn't fully paying attention. My bad.
I roll on, catching a few riders here and there, and catching back up to riders I had previously dropped.
Onto the long rails to trail section, I am in a small group and we start rolling through pretty easy. Half ticked off at myself and half giving up, I roll easy after pulling through with decent power a few times with nobody putting fourth any effort. 15 or so minutes of this, more riders roll up and sit in. Finally, rider rolls off the front easily and I do the same, eventually getting a gap with another rider. 3 of us would roll into aid station 4 together.
In and out of station 4, the three of us continue on and we would eventually split apart on the rollers heading into station 5. I grab a quick coke and roll on.
Through the little rollers and the hella steep climb where I flatted last year, and then into the final sections of single track. The heat was kicking in pretty good at this point, so it was good to get into the single track shade.
Would eventually roll in first on the day.
Yep, I totally crushed the women's field by about an hour. Unfortunately, they "disqualified" me from first place after noticing my side burns and instead placed me in the men's field in 12th place. I filed an official protest, but was still relegated. Bummer. But the consolation prize was free post race pints, so it kind of worked out.
Time to forget about the missed turn and concentrate on the Big Bear 2x12 and the Lumberjack 100 - but not before Tuesday Night worlds tomorrow night.