Mt. Hood stages 3 and 4.

This is going to be short and to the point because I’m tired, ready for bed, and actually sleepy for once this week!  For some reason I wasn’t able to sleep more than an hour the night after the prologue (too much coffee probably) and I’ve been paying for it ever since with a strange headache that won’t go away.  Last night was better and I got a few Zs, but not nearly enough.  A solid night’s sleep should do the trick–unfortunatley we just finished a late night crit, which is followed by an early road race start tomorrow morning.  Thank you race organizers.  Great planning.

The TT this morning: Wow.  My legs haven’t felt that bad in a long time.  I wanted to give it a hard effort and see what I could do or at least get some more TT work in, but warming up at 175 watts was killing me.  So, to conserve something for the crit and tomorrow’s stage I ended up riding easy and  at the very bottom of my tempo just to make sure I made the time cut.  Although, even riding easy hurt.  Looking at the results I’d say there were a lot of other people who felt the same or worse than me.

The crit went ok.  I definitely felt better than this morning, but I still didn’t have much kick in me.  I fought for positioning the entire race riding between 50th and 20th wheel, waiting for a chance to attack.  Mike Olheiser had gone up the road solo on the first lap and was slowly extending his lead every few minutes.  It went from 15 seconds to 21 seconds to 30 seconds 3/4ths of the way into the shortened, 60-minute race.  By then it was apparent that he was going to stay away no matter what.  My hopes of resting in the pack while the field chased him down so I could save all my bullets for a single amazing counter attack were over.  Instead, we were going to be battling for 2nd.

With 10 to go guys started launching themselves up the road.  The organized chase, if you could call it that, was over.   7 laps to go I saw a few guys escape after Dan was brought back from a move and I went hard up the first hill before the finish line, getting a solid gap and quickly catching one guy who was trying to bridge up to two others up the road.  I flew by him then caught the two up the road.  That hard bridge move killed me and I sat on them for a lap before taking any pulls.  The move looked pretty good and I thought we’d stay away, but it was short lived and the three of us were caught with 4 to go.  I attacked again immediately right as the field came up on us but didn’t get a gap and sat up at the start/finish line to get off the front.  By then I was pretty screwed for a couple laps as I tried to recover and I ended up just trying to maintain somewhat of a safe position in the top 30 until the end.  It was a fast crit but not hard enough for it to ever really get strung out or break things up.  I was amazed Olheiser could solo the entire way.  Simply amazing.  I’ll say that word one more time for good measure.  Amazing.  The whole HB team finished in the main group, with Spencer just missing out on the top 10 with an 11th place.