The same players in A grade this week - but with a new face popping up on the front. Both Al Adams and I were up the front early waiting to pounce on any move, or pull anything back that did move. Neither of us had seen this Cervelo rider before, who was pulling some strong turns. At the 20min mark he'd made his mind up and yelled to me "get on my wheel" as he came flying past. I jumped and sat on until he swung off. Al had jumped across as I swung onto the front to keep driving. Al and I had a small gap and I felt a little guilty about launching off someone else's attack. 100m later he was back with us and powering hard - this guy can ride!
Six of us had split the field at the 20min mark so it was going to be a long day off the front! Over the next few laps we popped three off the back which left me, Al, and the new powerhouse. All three of us rolled turns like clockwork - pulling well clear of the rest. We started picking up lapped riders, and now had the 'bunch' in sight. We all dug in until one lap to go. We were only 100m off lapping the bunch, so we had time to play cat and mouse. There was no way I was leading out Al again this week, so I had the anchors on. No false jumps or flying final 1km efforts were attempted... the three of us were down to about 25km/h at the 300m mark when Cervelo jumped, Al jumped, then I went. I had Al covered this time but didn't bother to check where this other dude was - he was on my wheel! I thought I had enough in the legs to keep him out but he came around in the final 20m or so to take it by 1/2 a wheel. 2nd again this week. The Powertap tells me I hit a PB for max power output and I was 1bpm off max HR, not bad after 30mins working in a break!
The three of us roll a lap chatting after the race, turns out this 'new' guy is Paul Redenbach (Google linky!), an ex-pro who is back on the bike in preparation for riding the Australian national series races for a Qld based team.