Five mile course, 12 times for 60 miles with several short, punchy power climbs (precisely what I'm not good at). Team mate Sean Weddell and I were in this one together and he did quite well getting in an early break that looked promising if Paul Martin (2007 winner of this race as well as Elite National Road Race Champion) bridged across alone or with just a few others. Wasn't meant to be as a California team pulled it back. I did my best trying to stay near the front but in all reality could not.
One of the short hills had a steeper section in the bottom of it with a false flat to the top and the power climbers/sprinters were dancing over this hill as I sort of faded each time up it and then fought my way back toward the front while recovering to unfortunately do it all over again (the hill took 36 seconds on average and for all you power-junkies, I averaged over 650 watts for these 36 seconds many times up it). When Sean got back, I was able to go with a secondary chase group but this was short-lived and I was back in the fold soon thereafter.
On the bright side, I finished the race (30th place) while many of the 70-or-so starters were dropped or pulled from the course. Sean finished 25th.
We'll try again this Sunday in the Master's Nationals 35-39 criterium. I'm determined to stay near the front and do my best for Sean and me. Optimism is the word; we'll see what happens!