It was a beautiful day on Sunday for the annual Sylvania Cycling Classic in Ohio. Temperatures were in the mid 70′s with a slight breeze from the north which made the short technical course all the harder. About 25 racers lined up for the Masters 35+ race which was spirited from the beginning. Being the only OAM NOW masters racer in attendance and with plans to race the Masters 45+ race immediately following, my race plan was to ride near the front, but try to save as much energy as I could. Well that plan went right out the window about 15 minutes into the 45 minute race as I found myself making a solo attack off the front and hoping that I would get some company for a breakaway. No one followed so I stayed by myself off the front for a couple of laps and then eventually got caught by the field. I continued to ride aggressively and tried to stay near the front as there were some crashes on one of the tight technical corners. As the laps wound down, I realized that being in the top 5-6 going into the last lap was the only way to have a chance at the win. With about 2 laps to go, another rider took off and managed to stay away for the win, albeit by only a couple of bike lengths. I had a good position coming into the final corner and came across the line in 5th place.
A quick water bottle fill up and cool down was all there was time for before the start of the Masters 45+ race. I wondered if this was a mistake to do both races back to back as I struggled a bit in the first few laps but I managed to settle in and actually felt pretty good throughout the race. An early breakaway of two got away with one rider eventually falling back to the group and the initial rider staying away for the win. The small field did not have the willpower or horsepower to chase too hard although the race was hard and fast at times. Similar to the prior race, I positioned myself toward the front in the last few laps and was able to sprint for a 6th place finish. Not too bad for two races back to back on a tough course.