Racing your bike is more than putting on a team jersey and shorts. It's more than pumping up your tires, lubing your chain and making sure your helmet straps are tight. It's more than toeing up to the line and taking a sip out of your bottle to quench cotton mouth. It's more than following a training plan, being diligent about rest and recovery.
Racing your bike is being the master of your own destiny. It's staying in the front 1/4 of the race. It's anticipating the surges, responding and making the surges happen. It's attacking just after a prime lap when the sprinters sit up. It's recognizing a break and putting yourself in it. It's laying it out there with no fear of failure and no fear of success. It's living in the moment and then celebrating your success for doing so.
For the first half of the race I didn't see more than 6 different racers. And honestly, sitting up in the front part of the race is much much much easier than hanging out in the middle. Any time I would slip more than 15 ladies back, I would make an effort to get to the front. I had confidence in my engine and my bike handling ability. It was as though a light bulb went off. I found myself in perfect position for two primes.
And my efforts were recognized - with a "Most Aggressive Rider" jersey. I am happy to be taking steps in the right direction but I am far from satisfied until I stand atop the podium. I've got another plan for today....