I started off OK. I felt fine and did my share of turns at the front, but as the minutes wore on I felt a heavy weariness creep into my legs. By the time we caught the 4th Cat group, 20 minutes into the race, each pedal stroke felt like I had weights strapped to my ankles and every rider behind me was hooked onto my saddle. I felt laboured, the antithesis to souplesse.
Our 3rd cat group ploughed into the 4th cats with the intention of trying to pass without too many latching on. I was seventh wheel and it soon became clear that some at the front were trying not just to leave the 4ths behind, but force a split in our own group. I stayed with the first breakaway attempt, and when that failed chased down the second, but my legs wouldn’t work for the third attempt. My team mate, Wayne, came through followed by a Bourne rider to continue the chase, but three riders were now away.
After that I dropped back into the bunch and had a gel, hoping to get some energy back into my legs. Once I felt more recovered I started moving to the front, testing my legs, doing the occasional turn. Bit by bit my legs were loosening up and by the time the 2nds caught us I felt ready for the final laps.
I stayed with it and kept a decent position near the front to finish 10th in the bunch sprint, 13th overall. After last week, I was a little disappointed, but, gel assisted, I had gotten over my mid race lull. In the previous two races I had ridden the day before, doing a couple of fast circuits in the evening. This week I didn’t, so I wonder, were my listless legs the result of a lazy no-ride-day before hand?