What beautiful day for racing. For me, the race was a one portion trepidation, three portions fear, one portion suffering and two heaping teaspoons full of fun.
Mostly I was fearful during much of the race. For some reason the pack could not keep a smooth pace and the yo-yo effect was quite difficult to handle. Many times I felt like I was riding poorly having to maneuver around and by others, who were also having to move in and around other riders. Being anywhere near the back was very uncomfortable. SO, move to the front you say? Not as easily done as one would think. 50 riders were packed from line to shoulder and it was slow trying to find a line to move up, sometime being boxed in for minutes at a time. Eventually I would make it to the front and after a short pull, I would miraculously be transported back to the rear where I would have to start all over again.
The pace was moderate for much of the race with the odd surge and attack. I felt pretty good to respond but on occasion would question the purpose of ripping avioli from my lungs and potentially having a full coronary right there on my bike. I'm old.. these thing can happen:)
Sadly, there was an awful crash near the end of the race. I saw it all unfold in front of me. One fellow bumped another, who wobbled and bumped back whilst the first fellow lost it completely taking out the second fellow and before I knew it all hell was breaking loose. My back tire ran over fellow #2's helmet and for a moment I thought I was in for a tumble. In the periphery all I saw were bikes and bodies hurdling through the air with that horrible sound of bodies and carbon hitting the ground.
The final 6 km were fun but the crash was still fresh in my mind I was tentative. I led a short attack in hopes of adding some fatigue to the stronger fellows legs. At the end it was a large group of us sprinting to the end. I had a small bump and grind with a couple of guys scaring the bijijis out of me and then the final sprint.
I hope all of the injured are well.