Today we had the To-road race at Shuzenji, with myself, Takagi-san, Arita-san, Higashi-san, Nishizono-san, Nakamura-san, and Hosokawa-san in attendance. It was really cold in the morning, and I couldn't get properly warmed up before the race. Plus, I didn't feel very fast and my legs were pretty heavy after these last three weeks of hard training. And just to make things worse, I nearly missed the start of the race - I was about 30 meters behind the group when the gun went off.
So, considering all these factors, I suppose the race didn't go too badly. Although I'm a little disappointed with my performance, I have to remember that I've only been doing base training, so my legs don't have many fast races in them yet. There were several pro and elite teams, so the pace was fast right from the start. Around the start of the second lap, I got into a 9-man break with Nishizono-san, but the speed was painfully high, especially on the climbs, and I was secretly glad when the pack caught us. After that, I started feeling really bad, and around the 5th lap I slipped off the back of the pack on one of the climbs. However, for whatever reason, I then started to feel better and tried to bridge back up to the group. I got so close - they were just a few seconds ahead of me - but I just couldn't close the gap. I spent 2 to 3 laps riding solo before a small group caught me from behind, and we rolled the last 2 laps together at a high pace.
I'm a little frustrated that I got dropped on the climb, but more frustrated that I didn't dig deeper to close that gap and rejoin the group. But that's racing, and it was good to get some hard racing in my legs leading into the new season. Now it's time for a rest and recovery week.