</span>Jonathan Doller--Cat 4</i></b></span></div>
I know everyone talks about the importance of “recovery,” but I never knew first-hand how important it really is until this week.  </span>After completing the B2B last Saturday and then riding 4 times during the week averaging 40-45 miles each, my legs were pretty spent going into the weekend.  </span>By Friday, I was regretting riding so much.  </span></span>My legs were heavy and the “burn” wasn’t going away as fast as usual.  </span>But, the White Mountain Cycling Classic is a really nice race (including a free T-shirt and free lunch after!) and I wasn’t going to miss it.</span></span>


 </span>This race has a little bit of everything, which always makes for a challenging day in the saddle.  </span>It consists of 9-laps (which they shortened to 8 due to time, I believe) on a rolling circuit that has a couple of steep ramps, a couple of ripping descents, a few dicey corners and a long false-flat drag along the Kancamagus Highway.  </span>The constant accelerations and decelerations tend to make the peloton yo-yo quite a bit and, if you’re caught out, it can take a really big effort just to latch back on. Add to that the fact that the Cat 4 boys seemed a little tentative on the descents into the corners.  </span>I felt like I had to brake a lot more than I wanted to and wasted a lot of speed and momentum.  </span>Oh well, better to have a safe race than a fast one where guys end up on the tarmac. </span> Luckily, having done this race last year, I sort of knew what to expect and managed to stay well-positioned throughout the race.</span></div>
 </span>The first lap, which is usually no more than a shake-down lap, was interesting, to say the least.  </span>We had something occur that I had never experienced.  </span>As we approached the start/finish at the end of the lap, the officials stopped the entire peloton and pulled us off the course!  </span>Apparently, there were reports of guys violating the yellow line rule on the Kanc.  </span>It must have been behind me, because I didn’t see anything from where I was.  </span>At any rate, the whole field basically got put in “time out” for a few minutes while the official gave us a scolding.  </span>We had to let the Cat 5 field (which started a few minutes after us) pass before we were released.  </span>So now, in addition to racing each other, we were also dodging the Cat 5 guys who had gotten dropped.  </span>The whole thing was a bit strange, to say the least.</span></div>
 </span>Once we got back to racing, the laps started ticking by with a couple of small attacks on the hills and a couple of little digs on the Kanc.  </span>Each time, however, the whole field was back together in a matter of minutes.  </span></span>It was definitely looking like a group sprint finish.  </span>The last time up the climbs, I slipped off the lead group a bit, but was able to catch back on by the time we took the right-hander onto the Kanc for the final time.  </span>However, right when I needed a little recovery from my effort just to catch back on, someone up front decided it was time to put the hammer down!  </span>I struggled to hang on for a few minutes but finally got tailed off the back with about 4 other riders with about 2 miles to go.  </span>The lead group was tantalizingly close, maybe 200 meters up the road, but the group I was in didn’t have the legs to catch back on before the final turn into the Loon Mountain parking lot.  </span>Knowing we weren’t going to factor in the finish, I sat up a bit to ride to the finish.  </span>When the guys I was with started sprinting for the 16th</sup> </span>place finish (where were those legs when we were chasing, boys?!), I was content to just spin across for a 20th</sup> </span>place finish at 28 seconds behind the winner. </span></div>