Seems a good place to add my perspective of the race:
The course was as tough as advertised. Just before pre-reg. closed out the competition in the masters ranks got a lot tougher with the addition of a bunch of guys I know to be quite strong. After I saw the pre-reg list my race goals changed from thinking I could get aggressive, maybe get in the right break to just try to hold onto the main field and take a shot at the end if I could.
First time through the ~7 miles of nasti-ness I realized my race goal was the proper one. Also, was a bit bummed to see my home boyz slide off the back of the main group, put my head down and tucked myself into the main group.
There I stayed until ~300m to go of the last 7 mile nasty stretch, the string stretched tight and then... snap! I was off the back. I did not want that to happen but didn't have much say in the matter. Caught up with another guy and we rode a solid pace to the finish to limit the damage, 21st, ~2.5min off the winner and main field. Happy with my effort but not so pleased with my place and that I could not stay in the main group.
Learned a couple things for future. Coming into the last ~1mile of the 7mile stretch of nastiness I was tail-gunning the main group, dreading/fearing that last, v. tough uphill. What I should have done was move myself to the front maybe even a little off the front heading into that last stretch. Why?
1. I could get a head start on the last uphill section and then slide back to the pack. 2. I might have avoided that stretched string where I was on the back, still under massive strain pedaling uphill whereas the font of the group was on a much easier grade and picking up steam. If I had been closer to the front of the group a more positive outcome could have been possible.
Jeremy and John, felt a little bad we did the masters instead of the 3s but 30 guys in the cat3 field finished under my time, winner only 1min slower than our field.
Ah well, I'm a maybe for Tokeneke. See y'all on the roads. -Jerry