After yesterday’s shennanigans, I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel today. Though with a 1:50 minute advantage in the General Classification, I wasn’t too worried. The race started out at a nice clip. A lot ofÃ‚ the first 15 miles or so was downhill, and we rolled through it quickly with everyone taking a pull or two at the front.
Around mile 15, we turned onto Highway 421. At that point, there was an attack from one of three S3 riders up front. I was sitting at about 4th wheel and decided to let the others chase and just sit in. Ashley Leech (Tiger Cycling) took off. About halfway across the gap, she pulled through to let the next rider continue to close. However, the next rider was from S3. My inner monologue told me that she’d slow down and let her teammate open the gap back up. However, she seeed to be confused and kept slowly pulling the group back up towards her teammate!
Suddenly, I saw all of the stars in the Counter-Attack galaxy align. Two S3 riders hanging out in the wind, unsure of what to do… Ashley, who is normally capable of chasing me down, was gassed and trying to drop back into the group… the rest of the group was behind me and seemed to be waiting for something to happen.
So, I countered.
A few seconds of hard pedaling later, I looked over my shoulder. Gap. Time to go solo again. At least this time, it was at mile 15.5 instead of mile 14, Right?!? Well, it wasn’t any easier. I was slower than yesterday. My wattage was lower. Fatigue was ripping through my quads. I thought for sure I’d be caught.
But I wasn’t.
After the race, I talked to some of the other girls. Apparently, the group was unorganized and the chase prettymuch fell apart. Lucky for me, because if just one of the teams had decided to work hard to catch/counter, I probably would have been too tired to keep up, and they could have made some GC time back up.
That sealed the GC deal. I crossed the finish line absolutely exhausted, but very happy. Not bad for a first race back from the brink of wanting to feed my road bike to the catfish in the Mississippi River!