Soooo.....not a great race for me. This time I have no mechanicals for excuses. But I can now say that a 32x19 gear ratio was a bad choice. Those climbs are 3x harder at race pace. I stand by my claim of Solitude dishing out the hardest course on the ICUP circuit. I knew I was in trouble when I saw brad with a 34x22 before the race.
Somewhere during the downhill section on lap one, I lost my only water bottle which was filled with CarboRocket. That's a bad feeling when you look down to grab a drink and you see nothing there. With the heat and brutal climbs, I knew I was in deep trouble. Whenever I would see a group on the side of the course, I would beg for a bottle but nobody had anything to spare.
I've never been so tempted to take one of the bottles placed on the chairs near the bottom of the laps. (you know, the ones set up by riders without a support crew) But I resisted and pushed on.
On the downhill of lap 2, apparently I decided to lay down in some deep sand and take a power nap. I'm not sure how long I was in the dirt but judging by my face in the picture, It must have been a few minutes.
(click for full image. Photo taken by Brad)
Oh, and I think I may have used my face to dig for water. No luck. I would continue on the rest of lap 2 and most of lap 3 without water begging spectators every time I would see one. At one point, I borrowed a few sips from a fellow rider but the damage was done.
I knew it was a matter of time before my system would shut down and it happened on the climb on lap 3. My mouth was dry and my pace dropped significantly. At the top of the climb, I begged for water again from a lady with a camera. She managed to run over to her bag and hand me a bottle with Bob S's. name on it. (Sorry Bob. She said it was an extra). That saved my life but it was too late. I worked my way down the last lap (no more naps) and ended up taking 4th.
Rachelle and kids came up to watch and cheer. So cool when you can hear people yelling your name. It helps a lot.
I'm glad this one is over with. I was worried about it all week.