Last night's Seward Park, in which Jamie attacked at the start and then lapped the field with Andrew Martin, brought home a depressing reality. There are a lot more dominant riders than there were back when I was competitive. A solid rider could do well in races by being combative, making the break and then winning a five-person sprint. But that was back when the winning break formed sometime after the half-way point and the guys in the break usually couldn't sprint cause the sprinters couldn't ride the break. Sure there were a couple dudes who were really fast but you could mark them out or they were off riding NRC.
Now you have a stack load of guys (see McSickness, Todd, Richter, Jamie, Ian, Fleischhauer, et al) who not only can make the break, but start the break on the first lap, take monster pulls and then launch vicious sprints (or so I hear; I haven't seen one yet cause I am so far back). And because there's a stack load they're all in the damn break.
Damn these guys are good.
*Depressing in the sense that I not only can't match these guys now, but I don't think I'd be as competitive as I was "back in the day" against the current field even if I was fit. All of which is good for local cycling because the races are harder and guys are getting faster.