So I won the 70 mile race. I can't really believe it, either. The short of it is that I was with the leaders of the race for the first 40 miles or so, and the peloton kept a very fast pace. At about mile 40 the people doing the 100 mile race split off from the people doing the 70 mile race. When the split occurred, there was nobody else among the leaders of the race doing the 70 besides me. So all of the sudden instead of being in a group of about 75-100 leaders, I found myself on a long solo break. I realized that there was a good chance that I could win at that point since there was likely a large gap between myself and the next rider in my group, so I gunned it hard.
I was still unsure if I was in the lead until I hit Buckhill and from the top of Buckhill you can see behind you and in front of you for a loooong way and that's when I realized that there was nobody else but me. I pushed it really hard, attacked hard on Sugarloaf mountain (I take a lot of pride in the fact that I was the first person to summit Sugarloaf out of all 2,300+ racers) and from that moment on I knew that nobody could catch me.
From there it was about 16 more miles to the finish with just enough climbing to make it non-trivial. I basically rode as hard as I could for that 16 miles to lock it in. Despite the hard effort, once I realized I was going to win, it felt like I had wings. 3 hours in the saddle at a race pace, with a pretty high heart rate and it felt like a nice Sunday cruise. Cloud 9.
I crossed the finish line as the first finisher in the 70 mile category with a time of 3:24:11. I was elated, and still am elated. I went to Chipotle afterwards and ate a big burrito, which in the absence of any kind of prize will have to serve as my prize. And it was a good darn prize.