I did a fairly short warm up and went to staging early, we all got to the line and you could feel the tension in the air. Everyone was itching to move into a better position, even if they were in the top 10 to start. Before our start, they played the national anthem. Everyone got ready for a “neutral” descent. We took off and everyone started getting aggressive. By the end of the descent we had 1 crash during the neutral that took 2 people out of the race. Everyone started freaking out and fighting to get to the front. I just stayed calm knowing it was going to string out once we hit the climbs. I was doing well, until I got delayed by a crash at the base of the climb. I fought to catch on, but the group had a 15 second gap on me by the top of the hill. I sprinted over the top to gain speed for the descent. 50 mph+ until I finally caught back on at the bottom. The 2nd time up the climb a group of 16 broke away to chase down the solo rider. I didn't have the legs but ended up in the maim field, where I sat up and rested until the base of the final climb. The finish was at the end of another 1.5 kilometers climb for the final lap with an average grade of 8.9 percent. It was now just a mental game. I attacked with 2 other riders at the base of the climb which blew the main field apart. A few riders caught back on, but got dropped later on. We hit 1km to go and one of my break away mates attacked. I followed but the 3rd rider with us couldn't hold our wheels. It was just the 2 of us left with 750 meter left. I waited for the right time to start putting in the final effort to drop my companion. I accelerated right before 500 meters to go, the steepest section of the climb almost 12 percent gradient. I caught the 2nd rider and saw 2 more riders from the lead group about 10 seconds ahead of me. I just kept going and coming into the last 150 meters where it flattened out, I passed one. The other was right in front of me, but I shifted another gear and punched one more time to pass him right at the line. A wonderful 14th place. I had an amazing time at nationals, and now I know how to train for next year.