Sitting at the start line I’m insanely nervous, everyone around me looks strong, and who should I follow? Who is going to try a break? Will all these other teams be able to push their rider to the front? Every question imaginable races through my mind, then with a whistle the race begins and we head off.
The Men’s Collegiate C’s is a short race, I just have to keep it together and hold my place until the right moment. Soon we have one lap down and one to go. The pace quickens riders attack here and there but everything holds together. We continue to keep our positions. However, the final climb looms ahead. Riders start jockeying around the peloton all the while I am making my decision on which rider I will follow. Pushing up to him a few of us continue to keep our pace. Looking back I see there are only five people left. On the horizon I can see the finish line at the top of the climb.
It’s now or never! Slamming into the big ring I stand up and put forth all of my energy that is left in my legs from. Leading up to the line there is one rider behind me, I hear him shout, and I keep going. Right before I reach the line I look back to realize I had dropped the 2nd place by more than fifty feet. Crossing the line first and alone was pure victory.