You know, I probably pulled out of today's race earlier than I needed to. But at 23ks I had a little vom in my mouth. At 30ks my back started to hurt. At 35ks we rounded a corner and I figured there was no point sprinting to get back in the working bunch. I sat up for a while until the three minute group came through. They weren't working at all. A couple of minutes later I learned why - the scratch group were on us, and they were hammering. That this occurred just as we hit the lumpy part of the course didn't help. At 50ks I was off the back, and prepared myself to ride the final 40ks home all by myself.
But then I started seeing riders standing on the side of the road. Eventually I saw one that I knew. "Everything ok?" I asked her, "Yeah," she replied, "I'm just waiting for the sag wagon"
"Whoa! There's a sag wagon?"
"Yeah, of course!"
I kept riding, but didn't put quite so much pressure on the pedals. Eventually the van pulled up behind me. It was pretty full in there. The driver seemed a bit concerned. "Hey, you guys wanna head straight back to the finish?" He asked. There was a silence. Everyone knew it was the wrong thing to do, but the lack of response told me everyone wanted it. And I'm not ashamed to say I was the one to crack first. "Yeah, that sounds pretty good," I said, and the others mumbled agreement. The driver gunned it through the backroads and I was changed and packed up before the winner crossed the line.