This year the weather was amazingly cooperative. Temperatures were in the low 60s and the winds were light in comparison to any other years. The race started off and my legs didn't feel great but I figured they would get going as the race went. MSU and Sun & Ski both had sizeable teams and were putting the hammer down frequently. I managed to stay near the front and continued to wait for my legs to come around. Unfortunately I missed a surge right before a turn into the brutal crosswind section and had to spend too much energy trying to stay with the group. Afterwards I worked to move back up but with every surge I couldn't match the move and slid back in the field. In the beginning of the second lap the pace slowed and I thought my legs were finally coming around but a crash followed by an attack caused a gap and a group of us were chasing to get back into the field. I managed to get in a better position going into the crosswind section but another crash followed by yet another attack created another gap and we were chasing again. Now the legs were feeling really fatigued as we headed back torwards the finish and the final lap when a third crash and attack created yet another split. I fought hard to get back on but soon after I was back on my crank seized. I looked down and my front derailleur cable had slipped and the derailleur twisted pinning the chain. I hoped nobody would run into me from behind but to my surprise,the rest of the field was gone.
I started walking and another racer was kind enough to get me a allen tool so I could get the derailleur straight enough to ride back to the car. Honestly, as much as it was a dissapointment, it was also a mercy killing. My legs were so shot that any attack might have been the final straw for me. I love Walburg and wished it had gone better but that's part of racing. Walburg always test you physically and mentally and leaves you wanting more.