The short of it. Take a well planned taper and good legs...combine it with a strong start. Then have it all come crashing to "Move to plan B" after only 4 of 100 miles of racing.
I was on the front of the lead group. We were rolling downhill a gravel road to the first section of single track. Speeds were around 35 mph. I was executing my race plan perfectly. The rider behind me came to the front and pulled in front of me quicker than either of us wanted to. His rear tire wiped out my front tire send me spinning across a 2 lane gravel road on my right side. All this happening while about 10 other riders are now making evac moves in all directions not to run me over.
I get up a bloody mess. I check the bike while, what seemed like ton of riders go riding by. Only thing that happened was the XX chain fell off, my right buckle was ripped off my shoe, and my shorts were shredded. I got back on the bike and now had to chase fueled by rage and adrenaline. I managed to get back up to 8th place after 70 miles of riding. The last 30 miles were too much. The pain in the leg and arm were a constant sting, like salt in a wound....made worse with harder pushing, water crossings, and washboard gravel roads. Slowing to a crawl, 10 riders would pass me on the dirt road climbs to the finish line.
I would finish 17th overall in the Pro/Open race.