Today was pretty F-ing awesome to say the least. It was my first win of the season and it came in the shape of an 8 mile Solo Break away in strong winds. The race started pretty quick and there was never really much time to relax and get in a rhythm. I was antsy to move the whole time. There were a couple breaks as well and I was smart enough to keep myself in the pack where I could draft and save my energy for my own break. Luckily everything worked out the way I wanted it to and the breaks were caught.
Finally, as the 2nd lap was coming to an end I took off from way in the back right past everyone and immediately created a 10 second gap between myself and the field as we crossed the line for the final time before the finish. It was motivating to have everyone see me with a gap like that, and hear the announcer talk about my break. It all gave me adrenaline and made me go even faster. I pulled out a 6:40 5k for the first part of my break away. I was hammering and I was hurting. But I never stopped.
I played my cards really smart. Every time I came up to a hill I would dig deep but at the same time I would relax on it and make sure that I had a lot of energy at the top. I did this because I knew the 8 man chase group that had now broke the field could see me, and for a chase group, that is the most motivating thing they can have. So, my idea was that I'd climb easy (relatively speaking) and once I got to the top, when their sight of me was blocked by the hill in front of them, I would go as hard as possible. After every hill on this course there is either a descent or a flat so after saving the energy on the hill I would hit over 55kph every time. Then, by the time the chase would get to the top of the hill, which I know for a fact they pushed as hard as they could on because thats usually where you plan on making up the time to catch someone, I would be gone. They'd see me all the way down the road and nearly out of sight. This is extremely demoralizing for a chase group, especially after a hard effort on a climb. The race stats from my Garmin are below.
Donaldson Center RR #2 by darionfleming at Garmin Connect - Details
The smart thinking and careful planning really worked off in the end, even though I really was dying in the final sprint and my 30 second lead had gone to a 10 second one. I held onto 1st place despite my 8 mile Solo TT effort. One thing I know for sure now, it is absolutely exhilarating to win a race on a Solo break away!