With 2 hours to kill before race time Steve and I decided to stomp over to the bar next door and get some food and drink. A couple of beers later we emerged, kitted up (ever get dressed for a race, outside in 15 degree temps? I hadn't either until Friday night) and headed down to the lake for a warm-up.
The gearing proved to be good and I hammered out my warm-up. Near the end though, while doing a final sprint my chain popped off and I hit the deck and slid across the start/finish line with a nice audience. Good way to start the night! (I would later find that I had a nice bit of road rash on my left hip from the textured ice)
Steve Mitchell photo
The race started and I quickly found a nice place in the middle of the lead group. My goal for the evening was to sit in (take no wind) for most of the race and then in the last few laps try to make a move and that was exactly how it played out. During the first 18-ish laps we basically cruised around in lazy figure 8's, picked our way around the tricky corners (ever taken corners on ice at speed?) tried not to hit anyone at the 8's crossing and waited for any attacks to happen. I marked a couple of attacks myself to keep anyone from getting clear and kept the group at about 8 or 9 riders. With 5 laps to go, I found myself in good position to make a move on the leader coming out of corner 2. I immediately launched an attack for about 1 1/2 laps but quickly realized that it was nearly impossible to break away so I sat back up and slid back to 3rd wheel. We would now have to rely on the final 200 ft sprint out of the final corner.
Lapping through, notice the ice on the balaclava.
Steve Mitchell photos
Still third wheel going into the final set of corners, I took a wide line to allow for an earlier sprint start. Unfortunately, I started my sprint a tick too early and ended up doing a 90 degree turn right in front of the rest of the lead group. I quickly righted myself and sprinted my ass off narrowly holding onto third place for the evening.
Steve finished up a couple of mintues later a bit demoralized with how his legs felt only to find out later that his front brake had been dragging significantly the whole time!
30 miler report tomorrow (hopefully!)