I knew yesterday was going to be super hot, so I took some pre-race preparations. A few days before the race, I began doing my rides during the hottest part of the day. Jeannette later told me this was not be the smartest thing to do two days before a race. The other pre-race preparation I made was to fill up a bunch of water bottles/bidens for the feed zone. I brought six water bottles for the feed zone, plus two on my bike. That’s a total of 9 water bottles, which is a lot of water. I didn’t have anyone to feed me, so I made a note explaining what I looked like and that I wanted someone to hand me bottles if they had the spare time. I left the note with the bottles on the side of the road, and it worked. Thank you to whoever that was giving me bottles. My race would have sucked if you weren’t there. Unfortunately, I missed getting water on the first two laps. The four bottles I drank yesterday weren’t enough and I was super dehydrated by the end of the race. SUPER dehydrated. When I got home I sat in a cold bathtub for 40 minutes and damn was it nice.
Chris and I spent the first three laps following as many Land Rover attacks as possible, although two of them got up the road by one minute on the first lap. A few times a strong group of us got up the road as the dwindling peloton shrank behind us and I thought that we had it. But no. The pack kept barely hanging on. The climbs weren’t quite steep or long enough.
On lap three, Aaron Sander escaped a few minutes after one of these promising breaks had failed. The pack had caught up and we all slowed down, and there went Aaron soft pedaling off the front by himself without anyone seeming to care. The pace stayed slow for a while, and I traded easy pulls with a couple others on the front to make sure the Land Rover guys up the road didn’t get too far away. I tired doing what Aaron had done two or three times. Slowly and sneakily accelerating off the front, but the pack wasn’t having any of it. A little while later, Josh Bartlett went for it on a small incline and I hopped on his wheel. No one even tried following us, a first for the day. I’m guessing people were getting tired and lazy, looking at each other to see if anyone else would go.
Josh and I caught up to Aaron a few minutes later and I looked back to see that the pack was out of sight already. We made it. Or so I thought…dun dun duuuuuun.
Actually we did make it. But it got close at the end.
We worked well together for the next lap, and our gap stayed healthy, although I never heard any splits from anyone. But on the final lap, Josh began taking fewer pulls–reasonable considering he didn’t want to catch his two teammates ahead of us and he had some fast sprinters back in the pack. With four K to go it was just Aaron and I taking pulls. We both decided to keep it going so we didn’t get caught by the pack, which was now in sight behind us.
Aaron lead up the final finish climb part way, and either cramped or dropped his chain when I attacked, having deciding I didn’t want to make the same mistake I did last week by waiting for the last hundred meters to sprint for it. I had a small gap on Josh as I looked back, but mid way through the attack I sat up to let him pass me on that last corner, thinking that drafting would be beneficial for the last 150 meters. It was a stupid idea because he sprinted by too fast for me to get on his wheel. I tried getting back up to speed but never made up any of the distance he gained on me while I had stupidly slowed down. I sat up with 50 meters to go and crossed the line with a scowl. I was not happy with how I played the finish. I took 4th.
Today was also hot. Jim, Chris, Kenji, and I did the team time trial today. It hurt. I was feeling yesterday in my legs but we had a good time doing it. I don’t know what place we got. We mainly did it for fun/pain. Jim and I dipped our legs in the creek afterwards.
Congratulations to Rob, Galen, Nick, and Paul, who won.