I got up early for the drive to Livermore. I felt in good spirits, ready for a good race. It only took an hour to get there - Sunday traffic.
I had a good warm-up, including a couple of laps of the course. This is a great course to learn how to race criteriums - nice wide roads with flowing corners. The race was kept at a good pace by a young looking Wente rider and the four prime laps. I sat back for most of the race, enjoying the ride, not wanting to burn any energy. I let other riders sprint for the primes but on a couple I speeded up just to test the legs. They didn't feel good, tired in fact.
I resigned myself to sitting in and saving myself for the finish. There were a couple of riders I had my eye on. I knew them from other races. No one really worried me, I picked a rider I knew would go hard and sat on his wheel. When we came into the final turn I tried to match the pace of the leading riders but I just didn't have it - my legs didn't have it. I rolled in a decent 7th. The hardest thing for the ego was losing to riders I had beaten easily in past races. The easiest thing was seeing the joy of the winner. This was his first victory. He definitely deserved it. I saw him ride unselfishly for his team mates at Chico a few weeks ago.
The Wente Vineyards team organize excellent races with great prizes. I would definitely recommend them.
Definitely, some good R&R is in order for me. I want Cat's hill to be a glorious swan song as a 4. I will definitely have to cat up after that. Cat up after Cat's hill!
BTW: The week of salads and no snacking after 7:30 worked wonders. I was safely down to 178 lbs for Wente. I hope to keep it up for this coming Saturday.