Alas, sometimes rest following a year of good preparation is a good thing. The calf seems to be fully healed, and I was probably the only one happy to see that yesterday's course had absolutely no dismounting at all. In fact, it was a gravel road race....like 17.5-18mph average fast cross race.
Within a couple of laps, it was myself, Butthead (I'm going to call him that until he carpools to a race with me), future-domestic pro Devin Clark, and Colorado native Taylor Carrington (number 1 ranked 30-39 year old cat 2 cyclocrosser in the country) dragging each other around. A washout would remove Devin from the mix and the last lap was pure planning and strategy. I was 3rd wheel on the 1.33 gravel road, which was a pretty good place to be. The last 1/4 lap had a grassy very steep kicker, then a couple turns followed by a big-ring grinder gravel climb, a couple of turns, then a pretty long pavement finish straight. I wanted to get around both of them on the first kicker and peg it up the longer gravel climb but couldn't manage to get around Josh, er Butthead until we got onto the gravel. At that point, it was wide enough for Taylor to come with me. He then followed my wheel for a sprint finish.
Above, I should have remembered that air drag increases with the square of speed. Oops.
Didn't quite make that one. Dang it was fun though.