What a day. I placed 2nd in Expert Men 15-18 and was just over a minute behind 1st place. I finished with a time of 1:59, so I was happy to break the 2hr mark for the 28ish miles.
The race started off with me so confused that I didn't know when to start. I got to the start line late and were calling the 18-29 up to the line. Well, the 15-18's always go after elites, but I didn't think they went, and the catagory os 19-29, but the race timer was not informed. I was asking around to see if it was also 15-18's and no one was sure. The 19-29's went off then about 10-15 seconds later I went after being told to do so. So here I was at the back of the peloton with not much room to pass. A few miles in I had passed all but 2 Expert 19-29's.
I rode well and was playing leap frog with one of the racers. He would lead on the flats where he was faster and I would go in on the singletrack sections where I could accelerate better. We went back and forth and pushed eachother well. I felt good and realized my 40 mile training rides were a good idea.
The last lap I rode had but didn't kill myself on. I had left the guy I was riding with and kept going at about the same pace. I had no idea where I was or if there were evem 15-18's in the race, so I had no one to gauge off of. I rode lap 3 with Dan S which turned out to be pretty consistent speed and lap time. Near the end of the lap I broke off and hammered it home.
I was informed that thw whole start was confusing for 15-18's and the timer was also confused. They started a minute or so later. I went over to the timing booth to let them know I had started in a different group so I wouldn't cheat everyone else. When I saw the results and read I was just over a minute behind I knew I could have put up a battle. With 15 seconds off the line and someone to chase or attack, I would have pushed harder. Its over and I had fun so it didn't matter. At least the Expert times weren't as screwed up as the Sport/Beg times that had a huge protest line and ended at 6:15pm.