Monday, June 25, 2007

elkhorn, stg 4, the finale

A 12 man break went at mile 10. Those bastards. It guaranteed that there was no time for a pee break the entire stage. And peeing off the bike wasn't an option either, and we were either going uphill, or hammering downhill. The speed kept up enough that I didn't dare risk drifting too far off the back.


I think 84 guys started this race. We had about 40 left at the bottom of the last climb, a 12-13km haul up a steady 5% grade with switchbacks. The break had a 2min lead when we hit the hill. There were attacks and accelerations, with people starting to go backwards right away and when I saw the leader's jersey jump ahead I hit the gas and dug in to bridge a gap to that group. Pretty soon it was about 12-15 of us stringing out on the climb. I moved up as well as I could until about 4th wheel, and guys started coming off the group. By halfway up it was down to 4. We started catching reminants of the break. The climbing pace itself never felt too difficult, but one of the guys in my group kept putting in wicked accelerations trying to drop the race leader, which were getting seriously hard to follow. I came off at 1k to go, put it in the big ring and powered to the finish the best I could. 12th across the line, moved me up to 6th on GC.

Not bad for riding solo. The weekend really came down to 2 hard efforts: the TT, and the last climb. There were a few bursts here and there the rest of the time to get in a sheltered spot, but that's about it. Despite trying to conserve, the sheer distance and saddle time builds up enough fatigue that by the end, I was getting tired.

Hopefully I gained some good fitness from this race. Senior men's RR is Sunday, we'll see how long I can stay on. If Aaron Olson and Doug Ollerenshaw show up... it'll be interesting.

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