Manda is as close to a Belgian day race that there is in Central Texas I suppose. Set in rural, working poor country, settled by Swedish immigrants.
There are long flat stretches along treeless wind swept fields. It's seems to always be windy and overcast.
Generally the race gets strung out as the wind plucks riders off the back like a John Deere combine harvester or something like that, and comes down to a survivors finish. I had the luck to be a survivor and finish in the top 10 this year.
P.S. All the other 2011 spring classix were marred by mediocrity:
Tour of NewBraunfels
Survived the winds and finished with the selection.
Formerly a classic road race turned suburban sprawl circuit race.
Recklessly lead the charge up the finishing hill. Swallowed by the pack across the line
Did about 5 minutes of each due to injury from improperly carrying heavy objects by bicycle.
Pack finish both days.
Saturday; Pack finish for RoadRace and middle of TT (6.6miles@16:20) sitting top 20 in GC at the end of the day. Following the advise of my director's sportiff's to be more aggressive this season, I cursed the entire field for passing me over the yellow line, while I elbowed my way to the front before the final turn.
Sunday; I found myself in a 5 man break for 2 laps with 2 min on the field which eventually caught us and spit me off the back before the finish.
Woolly Mammoth and Party Time animated this race. Lots of attacks and a 5th field sprint, 12th overall. The last K's covering the talented Jaime Dayo, who did not disappoint, with a bike throw for 4th. Party Time took the win in a 2 man break ahead of Jaime's 5 men.
A clean machine.