Race Report: Profronde Tiel
Whelp... Eventually I'm going to not be hanging off the back of the lead pack at the start of a gosh flaming race. (See above) They fired the gun and when I tell you these women dove straight into that first turn like their lives depended on it. I mean it. I was apparently trying to participate in a later race and decided to let them all pass me by. Oof.
I hung on for 2-3 laps, lost contact, made contact, lost contact, made contact, lost contact and then no mans land. Eventually the group behind me caught up and I settled in. I didn't have enough to catch the lead group, and these folks were not trying to catch nobody. I'd spent enough time out by myself to know I couldn't catch alone, so I stayed with the pack. I had 3 teammates in the group, so we decided to have some fun. It was a great course, and we had the numbers. We kept sending our folks off the front and blocking. It never lasted too long before someone would realize what was up and chase. It was pretty fun, and I knew they were tiring themselves out chasing down the purple kits.
Eventually they stopped chasing. We'd sent Maddy off the front, and she stayed out there until the end. With one lap to go, I looked around, she had quite a gap, and it appeared the everyone was saving themselves for a bunch sprint. I was not interested in a bunch sprint so I did something I never do. I took off half a lap early. You know what? It worked! There was a faint attempt to chase me down, but no one was ready to sacrifice their sprint to do it! Maddy crossed the line in 20th place, and I right after her in 21st.
I was pretty annoyed that I'd botched yet another start, but it was a pretty cool feeling to try something new at the end and have it work out!