Last year was a miserable year where I never felt strong with the exception of the State TT and the blowout derailed that. After the Move, the Wreck, and everything else, I felt like I had a fresh start. I've been riding less but when I ride, I don't just ride, I train with a purpose. In prior years I have started racing early and raced every race I could to try to race myself into form. This year I'm racing less but trying to build form and maintain it throughout the year so I ultimately grow stronger.
My first race this year was Alsatian Country III. It is a 2.5 mile circuit with the start/finish at the top of a slight grade. Just after the finish it is a short descent into a hard right turn then a long, fast sweeping run into another right that led to the long slight grade back to the finish. The finishing run was into a moderate headwind.
It was a field of about 60 including several teams with a large representation so I tried to stay hidden near the front and wait for the end. I haven't had a lot of long rides so I wasn't sure how my legs would hold up and finish at the end. The race was chaotic and moves off the front didn't last long. Going into the last lap the field was down to about 30 and 2 pairs went off the front. The rest of the field didn't seem to want to chase and so just before the last right hand turn I moved up to 3rd wheel and we began the last grind to the finish. It was a hard finale and I had the legs to unleash my unimpressive sprint and finished 12 in the field and 16th overall. I felt I raced smart and had good legs so it was a definite confidence builder. It was a good race to build on and hopefully have some nice results this year.