But back to racing. There was a huge turnout in almost all the classes. For this race, the masters would be doing a full 60 min race. The master 35+ was decent size with many new faces. However, most of the top guys from the Tailwind series were there so it was easy to spot who to watch as the race unfolded. From the start I had a great position. I stayed near the front for the first 2 laps. The pace was good, and very manageable. I was feeling good, and was ready to figure out if I was going to have a similar performance to Linden the prior week, or if I was dialed back in. In the beginning of the 3rd lap, Rob Selle was growing a small gap on the long straight away. Jarod Makowski and myself made the jump. I drifted a bit on the long grass climb, and this is when Jarod attacked. It was amazing! He absolutely turned himself inside out! From there Rob and I could not get back on. He got the gap and kept it for the win. Way to go Jarod! As for the rest of us, it was still a battle. Rob and I took turns trying to chase. Throughout the race, Patrick Russell and Dan Bannink caught back up and joined the chase. I slowly drifted to the back of this group but was still hanging on. Selle, made a small attack at the right time and was able to get a small gap. Patrick and Dan dropped me, but Dan got a flat. It was then time for the last lap. I buried myself past the red zone to see if I could catch Patrick and then Rob. I made contact with Patrick again, and could still see Selle dangling just ahead of us. Once we made it back into the fort walls, I cramped going over the barriers, and then cramped again up the last steep short climb. This was enough to lose Patrick for good. He finished just ahead of me for 3rd. I took a very tough 4th.
Overall I felt better than Linden. But I still feel like I am missing that "extra gear" to make an attack when I need to. I know some of the adjustments I have made during the week have paid off, but there may still need to be some tweaking.
I want to say thanks to all the folks that keep cheering and heckling me for all the races! You can't imagine how much this helps me keep digging deeper at every race. Especially when all I want to do is stop and puke! Thank you!