That hurt. Real bad.
By far the hardest crit I've ever done, even worse than Stillwater. I started at the back of the field for the last stage of the Tour of Ohio--bad choice. I had to give it absolutely everything I had to hang on and move up. Guys were popping left and right in the middle of the field, making gaps even harder to close. I managed to move up on the climb each lap, and after 15 laps when I finally reached the middle-front of the pack, I get pushed into a curb on a corner and I'm forced to unclip, wait for the field to pass, and chase back on.
In the end, it proved to be too much. I was shelled with 10 laps to go on the short course after hanging off the back for several laps. Fred and Kip managed to hang on for dear life even after the "long" laps started---complete with two 18% sustained climbs up and around Denison University hill. Even though Kip and Fred lost 4 minutes to the leaders, we still managed good resutls:
Fred--12th overall! Kip--15th overall Me--Fell from 19th to something bad overall.......
The race promoter decided to give me a 5-hr prorated time penalty for dnf'ing the end of the stage. Thanks. Every other stage, racers got between a 5 and 10 minute time penalty. That'll ruin a halfway decent GC position real quick.
Either way, it was a great race. I know where I am fitness wise in a P/1/2 field, and I know what I need to improve to get a top 10 GC positon next year.
Next up.....Some rest, then Superweek.