by Michael Hast
Friday's race was the Masters Men Cat. 4/5 40+. It was a combined race of Masters Men Cat. 4/5 30+/40+/50+ with a field size of about 30 riders. I had high hopes because the course, an L-shape course with a 180 degree turn, was the same as last year. Last year the acceleration out of the 180 degree turn caught me by surprise, so this year I accounted for that in my training. Jimmy and Jeff (from Colorado) raced together with me, but in a different age category. At the begin of the race it was announced that some riders would be randomly drug tested after the race by USADA. It was important for us to check in after the race, otherwise that rider would have been found positive for testing for drugs.
Before the race, I didn't really strategize with Jimmy nor Jeff. We just wanted to get a feeling for the competition and the race course. My intent was to tire out the competition with attacks and then eventually end up in a break. That only worked to a certain degree, the competition said they were hurting during the race, but not enough to launch a break away. So we ended up with a mass sprint to the finish and I didn't set myself up early enough to place in the top 10. Jimmy and I placed 6th in our categories.
After the race I almost forgot to check in with the race officials to see if I was chosen for the random drug test, but thanks to Jimmy for reminding me. Annnnnnnd I was chosen for drug test. Well after a 30 minute race in the afternoon sun, it was hard pee in the cup. 6 riders were chosen and we all drank at least 3 bottles of water. 1 1/2 hours later it was finally over. I definitely don't envy the pros that have to do this all the time.