Ended up 3rd in the open class and 4th overall in a field of 400! Way better than expected! Followed my nutrition plan and the total time was shorter than planned as I thought it might. I was at a disadvantage as there were a lot of people getting rolling hand ups on course so not only was I carrying more water, I also had to make a stop to refuel.
This ended up taking 2:55. Still had a decent amount of water in the Camelbak but made sure I got all the mix down evenly through that time. So around 115 carb/hr for first 3 hours.
This was almost spot on at 1:55. Worked perfectly as I just finished up the last of my fluids about a mile from the finish.
This was followed. Never touched the gels!
It got pretty hot towards the end with a fairly mean headwind in some spots. I personally know 4 people that dropped out from cramps or dehydration.
As for the race itself. It was very fast and somewhat chaotic for the first 40 miles. There were times where I went on the front just to take a break from it. Lost the small front group when I stopped at the 62mi sag to refill.
Got in with a group that wasn’t working together very good for a while, slower pace than I wanted but had to stay out of the wind as long as I could. Was planning to attack the group when we got closer to the finish but I got a gap on a steep little kicker so I hit it hard and solo’d in from 13.5mi out while 2 guys on aero bars chased me. They started reeling me back in but I stayed in it and they gave up the chase.
My best 20min power of the day started at 4:14 / 87mi into the race during the attack (262w avg 270 np for 20min). The solo effort was 38min / 13.5mi long and averaged 244w and 259 np and 21.4mph on 42c Pathfinders with around 30psi in them. The whole race was 100.19mi, 4:50, 206w avg, and 241np. My ftp is currently around 315w / 4.3w/kg.
I felt great the whole time and never had any “dark moments” during the race. Even felt good enough to go out and ride 20mi on the mtb the next day! Thanks again to everyone following and replying and also @Dr_Alex_Harrison for the fueling and caffeine advice, has really been a “game changer” for me!