This afternoon I raced in the first installment of the Del Mar Crit Series. It was a bit of an up and down race for me. I came into it feeling like I still had a bit of a lingering cold, so I wasn't feeling the strongest.
For the first third of the race I rode pretty close to the front and even got in a couple of break-aways, so I was doing pretty well.
The second third of the race was pretty tough, I was finding it hard to keep up with the pace and was barely holding on at the back of the field. Maybe I just needed a bit of time to recover from the effort of the first third.
The final third I was really starting to come on. I was back near the front, feeling pretty powerful. When the 5 laps to go call went out I was riding in the top 15 and promised myself that regardless of how painful it might get, I was going to do everything I could to stay there and win the race.
With half a lap to go I was in a perfect spot. I was in the top 10, very close to the front, and feeling more fresh than I expected to be. I went into the second to last corner pretty hard expecting to come out of it aggressively and start making a real strong run towards the last corner. While in the middle of the corner my rear wheel popped. There went my race down the drain as I coasted along on the rim (pictures to follow tomorrow morning). From there I had to walk it back to the finish.
Pretty tough to take, especially since this race was a category 4/5 combined field and I could have put some cat 4 points in the bank with a strong result. At this point all I can do is look forward to the second race two weeks from now and hope that things work out a lot better.