Ah, University. As a simpleton racer, this is a race I can actually train for. It goes up, then it goes down. I usually like that kind of thing. Things started in earnest, with Menso de Jong rolling off the front repeatedly, and Chris marking him early on in the race. The pack reeled them in several times before Menso finally broke the elastic and rode away from everyone in true pro MTBer style. Chris followed after him, but got reeled back in one last time. Somehow, I managed to remember to drink without him there to remind me, but from now on I'm gonna have "god, do I have to mother you?" stuck in my head in Chris's voice.
Like I said, I'm simple racer, so I followed some simple rules for the rest of the race: coast up to the front on the descent, drift back on the climb, and never stand on the kicker unless absolutely necessary. I closed gaps where necessary as attrition really set in after 10 laps, but basically sat in pretty comfortably thanks to all the work Chris was doing off the front.
With only Menso long gone off the front for the last few remaining laps, not too much was going on in the pack. I managed to drop my chain and had to do a pretty hard effort to chase back on, but even that was fairly uneventful. I repeated my simple plan and thought about what I was going to try to do on the last lap. Somehow, I got it in my head that it would be a fantastic idea to launch a sprint from the corner, about 2 minutes from the finish line. Unfortunately, a rider from Cyclepath had already cleared the group by the last corner when I wasn't paying attention, so it was a race for third. I attacked hard up the left side right after the corner, looked Chester from Platinum square in the eye and we were off. I led out for the last 1.5 min, then Chester came around me for 3rd near the line; I held my position for 4th. We almost caught the Cyclepath guy, so I can't say I made the wrong choice, just not the best. Glad I was able to hold on for so long given my early "sprint" start!
I stuck around to cheer on the 4/5 and women's fields, then had a great lunch in SC before heading home.
Legs are finally coming around, so I'm looking forward to at least Challenge and Everest later on this year.