It took me an hour and a half of traffic and lights to drive from my house down Route 50 to make it to the Haymarket Bicycles Shop for the 5:30 Race Ride with Joe Dombrowski and a few other Haymarket guys. It was about a 15-20 man group. The ride consists of 3 tempo segments with a sprint at the end of each one. The first segment was on rollers, the second on flat ground, and the third beginning on a climb then rolling.
I won the first sprint after a lot of solo attacking/pulling out of pure luck seeing as how I had no idea where the start/finishes were for any of the sprints. The second one didn't go quite as well. Someone got off the front after a descent and I spent a minute or two catching him by myself with an attack. After I caught him the group caught on and we started to pace line for a few miles. At the very start of the sprint to finish up the 2nd Tempo segment I had done a really hard pull for about 30 seconds and was pretty hurt. As everyone started to sprint I pretty much said "screw it," sat back, and relaxed. The 3rd Tempo segment/sprint is what really made the hour and a half drive totally worth it though...
...The start of the 3rd Tempo segment and final sprint is on a nice half mile 10% grade climb. This is Joe D's kind of riding. He is a climber, and a serious threat on any hill. Not surprisingly he attacked near the beginning. He got about 10 or 15 meters on us and I watched him pull away as no one made an effort to chase. I had had enough, stood up out of the saddle, and went after him. I caught on and went by him beginning to pull and allowing him to relax and regain some energy. At the top of hill it was evident that we had pulled away from the group...considerably. The next 7 miles was filled with pain and uncomfortableness all over my body as me and Joe took 20-40 second intervals of pulling each other. We never saw the group again until the end of the ride.
After seeing the stats from the Garmin tonight I now realize why the group never even had a chance of catching us. For the entire 7 miles we were coughing up a 26-27mph average breakaway with hills included. I was well above my threshold @ about 190+ bpm for my Heart Rate and hit a max of 197. We split 2 full 5ks of just around 6 minutes flat (a little over 2 minutes per mile). The agonizing drive from DC to Haymarket was TOTALLY worth it.