Art's (5 guys including Carinio, Albracht, Nunes), Giles, Thirsty Bear (3), Zoca (4)
~4 mile loop (75 min race, 6 laps), rolling to punchy hills (usual CCCX course)
upper 70s and a pretty stiff headwind on the back side
Get some good training and try to survive the Art's vs. Giles melee
The race kicked off predictably enough with Ben Albracht (Art's) attacking in the first 500m. As usual, everyone looked around, saw all the Art's jerseys and proceeded to do nothing (myself included!). A little while later Jacob Berkman (TB) rolled off (later he would tell me he wasn't even trying to go up to Ben, but saw that he had an accidental gap and just went). He eventually made it up to Ben and they were basically gone.
Normally, in CCCX races, when you have the two main teams represented in a break from a smallish field (30 guys), the race would now be for 3rd. But you don't normally have Scott Giles in the field...!
The next few laps it was basically: Giles attack (and then pull hard for a really long time), Art's counter, everyone react, repeat. Rob Amatelli would occasionally put in these huge digs going into and up the main climb. Pretty impressive and did a good job of wearing out the field.
In the meantime, i was feeling ok and doing as little as possible. I was pretty sure Giles was going to cause the break to fail. What i didn't know was what would happen when we got them back.
With one lap to go, Ben/Jacob were about 30s up the road (from a max of ~2min) and we were coming into the final decisive climb (about 2 miles from the finish). I thought that we'd go steady up the climb, catch the break with about a mile to go, then all hell would break loose on the rollers to the finish. I just wanted to be ready for that.
Big mistake. Evidently Carinio didn't want to leave anything to chance. Halfway up the climb, he hit it hard from the other side of the road, and got a gap before i could react. By the time i got clear of the field, he had about 10 meters on me. He caught and passed Ben/Jacob and was gone. Nothing i could do. I made it up to Ben/Jacob and started working w/ Jacob. Eventually most of the remainder of the field (about 10 guys) came up to us.
I was pretty cooked, and no one else seemed to want or be able to do anything about Carinio. Albracht and Nunes were still there and ready to jump on anyone that tried.
Coming into the finish, Art's had 2 guys leading out Ben. I was on Ben's wheel and managed to come around him for 2nd place.