I finished in 33rd place and in the leading bunch at today's race, The Rev 100, held in Cambridge, Waikato. We completed the 100.4km course in 2 hours and 37 minutes (38.3kph average).
The course has a steep 2.5km climb beginning at the 6km mark named French Pass. The double-digit gradient combined with the length splintered the field. I was in the first group of ~15 to crest and we were trailed by another group of 15-20. The two groups came together a couple of kilometers later and that is how we remained until the finish (luckily we left several hundred other cyclists behind us).
Several small groups were successful in breaking off the front for short periods of time. Some only lasted a few minutes; others opened up a decent gap for 10 minutes or so. But no breaks could put in the winning move. (After the climbs of the first 20km, the course undulates with only one additional climb at kilometer 77).
With 10km to go, we were a bunch of 35 approaching the city of Cambridge on flat, straight roads and into a cross-head wind. I sat out of the sprint and rolled over the finish line in 33rd place.
The chasing group finished 6 minutes later.
Overall, I was happy to finish in the leading bunch. However, I wasn't feeling on top of my game today and couldn't contribute to the work. In fact, I spent the last 75km sitting at the back and barely hanging on for much of it. I'm not sure if I simply had an "off" day, if I was still tired from hard training last weekend, or, if I overcooked myself on the early climbs.
The course is actually quite beautiful (especially for Waikato). We raced through the area where "The Hobbit" movie was filmed (Matamata).
I'll be back to training this week. The Tour of Northland stage race starts in 19 days.