Heather and I under the tent on our non-felt rides.
Then I watched Vince, Pete, Wattie, and Kurt come across the finish. I quickly realized I didn't dig deep enough. They had snot, spit, sweat, etc all over their face and their eyes looked a bit crossed. Hmmm, within 20seconds of finishing I thought I could probably do that 3 more times at the same intensity. Instead I headed out for a short run.
To be honest, after this failed attempt my desire to keep racing on day 2 was minimal. I told Kurt and the guys that I wanted to get in a long ride instead and would stick around Tempe. Thankfully they dragged me to the starting line for Day 2- the Road Race.
41 miles. Ok we're getting closer to my desired distance. I surrounded myself with the top girls from the TT. If any of them attacked, I'd follow. I was a bit frustrated that the attacks didn't come until the second climb. I wasn't sure if we were heading out for coffee, or racing. A learning experience to say the least. First lesson- bike racing is as much about racing smart as it is about fitness, strength, & speed!
Can u guess what fueled me during our break away?The attack came at the second climb- king of the mountain points were up for grabs. I didn't look back to see how many girls made the jump, I only knew there were 3 girls ahead of me when I got to the top of the climb. I pushed one of the W35+ girls to motivate her to keep working. She thanked me, but come on-it was somewhat selfish. I wanted the lead pack and figured I'd need some help reeling them in (wow, look at this triathlete starting to analyze like a roadie- lol!). It didn't take long and I was back up with the leaders. The pace slowed more than I wanted it to, but it was too windy and I didn't think I could attack and get away. So there we stayed until the final climb- a 1mile up hill finish. The attacks started at the base of the climb. I stayed with it but waited a bit too long to throw the hammer down. I tried hard to real in 3rd place, but took 4th.
Lesson learned (there were many!): I may not have the instant jump, but I have fitness and endurance. When others were huffing and puffing at the top I kept getting stronger.
So....after day 2 the overriding lesson learned: road races are crazy fun, and I was so happy I didn't throw in the towel after day one. The RR put me in 6th for the GC. Better than 13th!! To quote team Felt: "NIIIIIIICE!"
Day 3- the crit. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Scared?!?! Ah, yeah! I always swore this was something I'd never do. Lesson learned: never say never (when-o-when will I learn this one). Final day recap to come tomorrow (with pics too).