We just returned from our last road race of the season which was the Henleyville Road Race in Corning, CA. The Henleyville Road Race was our first ever Cat 5 (no junior) Race and although we knew it was going to be hard we were ready to take it on! We both competed in our longest road race ( 54 miles). Junior Categories races are normally around 20 miles.
The road surfaces were very rough with a lot of potholes so several riders got flats. About 100 feet past the start line I flatted. It took me about 15 minutes to fix it. Since the peloton was gone, my only real goal was to have a respectable finish, but without question I needed to finish to get my 10th mass start to apply for my Cat 4 upgrade and this was the last Road Race scheduled until 2014. Meanwhile, Jake was riding in the peloton, he comfortably sat in the entire race for the final sprint.
I jumped back on and started riding again and at a good speed! I had only been riding for a mile and luckily there was another group coming up that I could draft off of. I rode with that group an entire lap (the laps were 18 miles each). On the start of the second lap I couldn’t hang on any longer so I fell back and looked for another group. About half way through the second lap, another group came up and I gladly drafted off the back of them. On the beginning of the third lap they slowed down a lot and I wanted to go faster but I had a hard time pulling in the wind. A few minutes later a faster group came up and I pulled into their slipstream. That didn’t last very long as the moto-official show me no mercy and kicked me out, so I had to face the final miles out in the wind, on my own.
At the finish Jake’s group going up the finishing hill, Jake was in 4th, but was out sprinted by the adults in his group and finished in 6th place. I was still quite a ways back, but finished in 8th in the Category. We both secured our 10th mass start, so we can, should we elect, to get our Cat 4 upgrade.