How to dominate Ace -- even at breakneck speeds:
1) Round up seven teammates. You can't go wrong with Scott, Jim, Pat, Chad, Dave, Kevin, (and me). Even if one of them is in Kannapolis, convince him that driving more than two hundred miles, to Altamahaw and then home, rather than simply going home and doing the local ride, is the right thing to do.
2) Carpool. Cramming three teammates in one vehicle can lead to talking smack, self-delusional talk of game-winning strategies, and talk of baboons copulating atop car hoods.
3) Register. Sorry, there's nothing more to say about that.
4) Change. Wrap a towel around your waist, drop your trousers in the parking lot, and put your kit on. If you break a sweat merely while changing, take both 24-ounce water bottles to the start/finish line. Drink one before the race and the other during the race. Then, refill them and repeat the process for the second race. (I wish I had done that).
5) Warm up. Get to the start/finish line on time. If the teammate driving in from Kannapolis happens to arrive a wee bit late, and registration is officially closed, lobby the promoter to allow him to race. It helps when one of your teammates is also a promoter. It worked last night.
6) This next step was contributed by Chad: "Jim offered me a Fat Tire (beer) before the race for every time I didn't chase a teammate who was in the break." Of course, Chad sucked back a beer from Jim's cooler after the race.
7) And we're off!
8) Flood the front with Blue-n-White. Get some guys (Chad and Pat) in the first break. When that break gets caught, get another guy (Scott) in the break. When that break gets caught, get another guy (Dave) in the break. When that break gets caught, get another guy (Yours Truly) in the break. Take a swig. Spit. Control the pace. Do this until the teammate in the break laps the field.
9) Once the break laps the field, flood the front -- again -- with Blue-n-White. Chad, Pat, Dave, and Scott, like pitbulls, can chase down anything that tries to break away. Jim can string out the field with three laps to go.
10) Sprint! Sprint! Sprint!
PS: I hear that the 4/5 race averaged 26.6 mph and had 53 racers in it. If that wasn't fast enough, the second (3/4) race averaged 27.7 mph and had 63 riders registered. I barely remember the second race. I wish I had paid attention to Step 4. But I did manage to get third in the 4/5 race and 16th in the 3/4 race -- thanks to the six guys I rode with.