Saturday, June 24, 2006

Magical? Not so much

Saturday, 24 June

That magical combination I was hoping for in today's TT of downhill out, tailwind back turned out to be headwind out, uphill back. Semantic difference, I know, but it was a big one on the bike. I hardly got to ride in my 11 at all, and even the downhill bits didn't seem fast. Clint and others reported that the last 3K were really fast, but anything I have to ride in my 17 can't possibly be fast. I caught a few and was not passed, and I didn't have to either shift to my small ring or get out of the saddle on the hardest hill on the return. It was hard, but it's a good course, and more interesting than the old one here at Elkhorn.

We didn't get results until we turned up for the crit this afternoon, and my time wasn't so bad. Allison, whose TT times are usually really close to mine, proved that Philly and Nature Valley were great training and schooled me by 45 seconds. But there was no one in between us, so she got third and I was fourth. And I won stage money (thanks, Claire)!

I had a really hard act to follow in my crit. Never mind that I felt really tired and sleepy in the couple of hours before the start (not all naps are helpful). The masters raced right before the women, and Mick went off the front in the first two laps and stayed away to the finish. Clint bridged up, Mick's original break buddy got dropped, and Clint and Mick had 50 seconds on the pack by the finish. But for a $100 pack prime with 3 laps to go, they probably would've lapped the field.

So let's put a positive spin on my crit. I did better than I've ever done before on this course, and I only lost 20 more seconds in this stage than in the TT this morning. Compared to how much time most of us are going to lose tomorrow, a couple of minutes is a trifle.

And tomorrow should be interesting. In an effort to get the women's field to finish on the same day as the men (it's a 101-mile stage), we start first. That means 4 men's fields are going to pass us. We will have to be strategic about our pee break. It supposed to be 100 degrees in Portland tomorrow, so it will be a real cooker for us on the final 8-mile climb at about, what, 1:00 in the afternoon when the sun is blazing overhead. There are 2 feed zones, and it will be a day to drink a lot, even for me. I wonder how many layers of sunscreen applied at 7:30 a.m. it takes to still be effective at 1:00?

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