Stage 1 started out pretty fast with a lot of attacks and it wasn’t long before a break was established. From that point not too much happened, visit there were a few attacks and attempts made at bridging up, prosthetic but the pack was pretty much set on cruise control. I didn’t really stay on top of hydration control, therapist and before I knew it were at feed zone 1 and I had only drank one bottle…opps…big opps… Couldn’t quite get back on top of it and totally blew when we hit the climb and ended up losing lots of time. The guys I was with didn’t have it to lay down the hammer to catch the pack, and our opportunity to get back in the race was gone as soon as we hit the flats after the short descent.
Stage 2 had an attack as soon as we left the neutral zone I made it into a break, but it was quickly caught and countered. I settled for surfing the pack and made sure to keep hydration and eating my number 1 priority. The feed zones were nearly as hard as the climbs. Teams up front drilled it as soon as they made it through the feed leaving anyone looking for neutral support outside of the top 15 suffering to keep in the race. The gradual climb before we hit Sisters was steady paced with only a few guys going up the road for an attack at the KOM. We caught the break from the start of the race just before rolling into town. There was lots of jostling for position in the flats and gradual rise before the big climb. I was able to hold position mid pack going into it, not ideal but hopefully good enough to avoid getting gapped off too early up the hill. The climb shattered the field as the intensity picked up, and the time gaps were large from BJM’s winning time and when the back of the pack came across the line. Riding solo at this race, the post race challenge of the day was getting back to my car at 40 miles away the start, I managed to hitch a ride from the Navigator crew so that saved a few extra miles. Tomorrows TT and Crit should be fun. A new course for the TT and a slightly changed crit course should change it up from last year. The best part will be the after noon nap.