After being dropped in the previous weekend's race my objective for this race was simple to finish on the bunch, build up the feeling of recovered form perfectly aligned with my plan for the year.
And that was how the race went. I sat at the back of the bunch for most of it. Not that it was an easy ride but it certainly was something I managed all right.
It was only when we were with two laps to go that I changed my plans. Somehow I remembered after the race two weeks before, in the same circuit, I had told a fellow Wheeler that if I had rode more conservative I could even have been competitive in the sprint; the moment when I was supposed to call it a day, fall at the back of the peloton and take it easy was the moment I decided to move to the front of the peloton and try my chances.
I think I did reasonably well, if you were to ask me I would have said when the peloton got to the long final straight I was reasonably well positioned. Not that I was going to win or even get into the points but at least ready to put an all out effort to reach the line.
I couldn't somehow I was involved in a crash. Unfortunately the pain killers they gave me have deleted my memories of the crash so I'll have to rely on my fellow Wheelers recall of it.
As we got to the last lap, the pace went up a bit, and Javier and I had made it to the front, and he was looking comfortable.And this is another take
We were both top 10 going up the first hill, and it was strung out, but we ended up swamped over the summit with riders 10 abreast and dropped back to 20th. I panicked a bit, and hammered up the final hill, catapulting into top 10 going over the summit. I think Javier was still with me at that point, and looking good.
Through the S bends descent, I pushed through and ended up 3rd entering the curve before the straight, and thought I was in a good position. Turns out it was waaaaaay to early to be in that position as it was 800m to the line.
Behind me I heard the horrible crunch of someone going down. I think Javier ran into the back of someone.
So this is still about 800 meters from the finish, there were 3 or 4 guys crashed right in front of you and were on the ground. You tried to stop to avoid running into them. But you were going very fast then (due to the up in pace in the bunch) and when you tried to stop emergently, your bike locked (especially the front wheel), and you flew over the handlebar into the air. I didn’t see how you landed, as I swerved to avoid the pile up.At the time I didn’t know it was you, other than it was a Wheeler. I went back and saw a few riders carrying their bike to the finish. I didn’t see a KW, so carried on and saw you on the ground. The rest you know.It turned out it was a serious crash for me (apparently everyone else was just fine). The list of damages includes broken left femur, fractured vertebra, a strong impact on my right shoulder and lots of cuts and bruises. An "industrial dose of morphine and ketamine", a surgery to get an intramedullary rod in the femur, a week in the hospital, two units of blood transfused, wearing a brace for 8 weeks and an uncertain number of weeks until full recovery.
My expectations were low but I have to say I was expecting a better result.
The race in Strava