Damn, I hate having to compose a blog post TWICE: after an hour of writing, Ecto (the app I use) only published the first line and lost everything else. This version is a bit briefer than the original, I may pad it with more detail later.
Did the "C" race on Sunday. Short version: I did not podium but did not crash or get dropped.
I got a lot of really good advice, wisdom and lore from Alan H, Michael C, Rich M, Bruce and others beforehand. I didn't sleep well the night before but was surprisingly calm once I got out of bed.
When called to the start, I found myself in the 4th row next to teammate, John R - he was on the inside and I was one row outside of him. At the start, everyone clipped in without incident and the pack slowly came up to speed.
I felt like I did a great job of looking for steady riders to draft in the early laps and stayed in the middle or to the front of the pack the whole time. Only gripe was that I migrated to the outside and kept finding a particular manhole cover on the back stretch that is slightly below the road surface.
I felt like I was working pretty hard but also felt like I had power in reserve, if needed. We were averaging 24 mph as we sped around. I observed that John was in a much better position, ranging from just in front of me (but still on the inside) to the very front of the pack.
A car turning off the course compressed the pack at one point and John, in a moment of inattention, lapped wheels with someone in front of him and nearly went down right in front of me but made a great recovery without affecting anyone.
A few laps in, as we approached turn 1, a rider up ahead of me pulled the left side crank right off his BB! There he was, coasting straight ahead, holding his left leg up with the pedal and crank dangling from his cleat. Lucky for all of us, he was on the outside and caused no trauma to the pack.
Prime lap (lap 7 of 17): on the backstretch another car was on the road, so we went "neutral" and I mistakenly assumed the VERY NEXT lap would be the prime (as that was how the race official described it should happen). Coming round the final turn into the straight, I found myself 2nd wheel and figured, why waste the opportunity. I managed a sprint and got out front but just before the line, the guy I was sprinting against shouted that it was NOT the prime lap... and at that moment, they rang the bell announcing the prime.
I think it was on that lap that somebody went down hard (heard the yelling/crash/helmet-on-pavement). He lay there until the end of the race until an ambulance came and took him away.
Bleh. Matches burned. Spent the rest of the race hanging onto the back of the pack, getting gapped by a few bike lengths occasionally but able to sprint back up and latch on.
On the final sprint, another rider took a dive. It was rumored that he bounced along the granite curb as he went down... OUCH! He was treated and was able to get himself home.
Conclusion: I'm very happy with how I did, I learned much and will definitely it again!
(Hehe, when I went to post a link to this on Facebook, the Captcha system wanted me to type in these words: "involved imperil")