Wild Card was well represented in the Cat 4 race on Saturday afternoon. We had Larry Johns, Chris Kirkham, and myself in the race. It was my first time racing this course so I didn't really have a history on how the race was won. I expected it to be fast and technical with a reduced group sprint finish. The plan was for the team to respond to any attacks after about half way through the race, then save Larry and Chris for the sprint. Well, the winnning break of three occured on lap 3. We still had over 40 minutes of racing so I didn't respond to the attack thinking there were enough teams to chase it down. What I found out was that there were only about 4 guys willing to chase. Larry and I did a large amount of effort to bring the break back, but for us to bring the break back we needed 6 committed guys to chase which we did not have. So, the break held their 20 second lead to the finish. At some point during the race, I won a field preme which was nice. The last lap was fast and furious. I was pretty cooked so was happy to protect Chris's back wheel so he could sprint. In the last straight I bumped a guy off his wheel. Chris finished in the top 8, I finished 9th, and Larry was top 15 even after riding the guard rail from the last corner to the finish line.
Next season, I will know how this race can be won and will be ready to compete. This was a good warmup for my last focus of the season, the Illinois State Crit Champs. Hope to see a good group there to compete with.