I had a weird vibe the whole race. It felt like we were all taking it a little easier because of the wet course, which made it feel like we were all waiting for something big to go down that just never did. There were small attacks that didn't really go anywhere. There weren't any crashes, save for a small one on the last lap from a guy who came out of his clips going up the corkscrew hill.
I just kept counting down the time and the laps, focusing on the riders around me and my position in the field. Like Santiago in the Old Man and the Sea, I tried to keep my mind from wandering (I'm a sucker for kits designed by Jed Rogers) and just focus on the race around me:
What can I think of now? he thought. Nothing. I must think of nothing and wait for the next ones.I had grit in my teeth from all the road spray, and my right lens was completely fogged up so that I had trouble perceiving the distance to the riders around me. Wiping the lense with my glove was no use and twice I pulled my glasses off to lick them clean. Oh tosh, swimmers do it all the time.
The pace rolled faster as the sun came out and the course dried off a little and as we all settled in. By the last five laps, there was no finer place to be, and I finally understood what we'd all been waiting for.
Drew Hochstatter, who rode to second place, captured the last couple laps on his handlebar camera. Watch him making coming around half the pack in the last kilometer look as natural as eating a caramel. I'm the guy with the blue buns in the center of the frame right when the video starts.