Last year Deion and I swapped off 3 times, each riding for half hour segments. We only barely won the race against 2 teams that only swapped once. So my goal this year was to ride one hour, then give it to Deion and let him finish. Especially since team 89 was very likely to keep our pace and maybe beat us.
I got a great start, 4th into the first corner and 1st bike in our class. Instead of putting my head down and trying to check out like last year, I paced one of the open class bikes ahead of me (double the horsepower, so holding on to him was hard work but not breakneck). I wanted to see if any of the teams caught up to us, and started challenging me. After about 20 laps, I realized that we had quite a gap behind us. The guy in front of me started to make mistakes, so I passed him and set a faster pace that I felt comfortable holding. Soon, I was lapping through everyone in our class except for Team 89 in 2nd place. Once. Then twice. Three times! I was exhausted, and I had to work hard to relax my grip and not make stupid mistakes, but I was able to keep holding on and running hard. And then finally I reeled in 2nd place, and put him a lap down.
Team 89 did a rider change, and we gained another lap. I reeled in and passed the new rider, and we had 3 laps on 2nd place, and nearly 10 laps on most of the field. In fact, we were running 2ND OVERALL THE ENTIRE FIELD, INCLUDING THE BIG BIKES! Sweet! Right before I came in, one of the big bikes caught me and passed me using horsepower in the fast section of the track.
When my hour was up, we were running 3rd overall, and had 3 laps over 2nd place in our class. HAPPY. :-) I rolled in, and Deion took over. In the first 20 minutes he put another 2 laps down over 2nd place, and we had a very comfortable 5 lap margin. Now it was time to just cruise home and take victory.
DENIED. With only 20 minutes to go, the bike stalled and wouldn't run. We rolled it off the track and added gas. It fired up, but wouldn't pull the bike. We spent from frantic minutes trying to figure out what was wrong. Turns out that the intake manifold had cracked. Our race was over.
Right now I'm bitterly disappointed on a level that I am having trouble dealing with.