You never really appreciate how long is Jug until you are clawing to stay on the back for its entirety but I did hang on. OK, in the interest of full disclosure, someone dropped out in front of me and I did not try to close the gap as 310 was rapidly approaching so regrouped at the stop. Turning left and then the quick right we returned to rocket pace on Jug. Lori N, dropped out creating a gap I could not close as Shannon and Marty swarmed around me to rejoin. Mark Lemmon came up and I jumped on his wheel and the two of us reached Alexandria with a 23.2 avg, made the right turn, left on Raccoon and we maintained visual contact with the forward gang until they vanished at the Hardscrabble turn. That is a long, not steep but debilitating climb before reaching Northridge where we turned right and then quickly on to...groan...Stone Quarry.
Reaching the dead end, a right put us on Louden and then stayed straight on to Dry Creek and then eventually a right onto New Burg. My legs had felt good and I took some good pulls through there so looked at the clock, the remaining miles, the route profile and abandoned an idea to stay on the A route but did modify, with Mark L's acceptance. Reaching the middle school, we stayed on Burg and rode past the Denison U entrance and the nasty "Campus Twist". I thought we had a chance of catching the group as they descended Thornwood. Ken Buddell came by us and confirmed our worst fears, the A group was already ahead of us and we missed then coming off the hill. Damn. So, Mark and I ham and egged it the rest of the way, ending with 44 miles and a 20.8 avg. The lead A group finished with a 23.2 avg and that is smoking, considering the climbs on the route.