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Tour of the Gila, Stage 3 and the Stage 4

By May 6, 2006No Comments

Stage 3- Inner Loop

This was a very tough stage for me. It was day three of the stage race, and after a grueling stage 2, I was feeling pretty tired. The race got underway and I knew immediately I was going to have a tough day when I was struggling with the rollers on the way out to Pinos Altos. The pack got faster and faster up the climb and several people started to get dropped. I surprised myself and held on a little longer than I was expecting, but then the inevitable happened. There were various people around, but no one really wanted to work together. None of us that got dropped ever caught the pack again. I worked really hard up the climb and it turned flat. A train of girls, mostly Cheerwine and TRIA came up behind me and I tried to hop on, but couldn’t. I had a great time on the Sapillo descent and passed 4 people. Of course, they caught me again on the flat. After the descent, there was a very long, windy valley. I had a couple more girls pass me, but was just too blown to try and work with them. Much later, there was a right turn and a long, gradual climb straight into a raging headwind. I was extremely exhausted at this point since I had already 10 miles in the pack, 55 miles alone and still had 15 left to go into this crazy headwind. The highway had roller after roller and it seemed like it would never end. Finally I got to the end and my shoes were killing me. I had unbuckled the velcro and the first thing I did when I crossed the line was rip off my shoes. I’m going to cut them for stage 5. I ended up being 3rd to last of the finishers. There were about 5 girls behind me that quit the race and 2 girls who finished. Despite my effort, I wasn’t too disappointed considering I was only 30 minutes back from the main group and working all alone in the wind, and had ridden solo the day before as well.

Stage 4- Criterium

I’m not a great crit rider to begin with, so I already knew what to expect. The crit is always really fun to watch and there were tons of spectators out to cheer us on. I warmed up on the trainer and with the first revolution of the pedals, I knew I was in for it. My legs are so sore!! It’s amazing what stage racing will do to you. I made my first error by lining up in the back of the pack. This was my first large crit with 60 women lining up. The biggest I had done before was 20 people and it was only for 30 minutes. This crit was to be over an hour long. The race started pretty fast and I did everything I could to hang on. We were turning over lap times that were the same as the cat 2 men, and afterwards, everyone agreed the crit was flying at a blistering pace. Unfortunately, my position condemned me and I was yo-yoed off the back after an embarassing 3 laps. I managed to hold my own for about 8 more until they pulled me. I was flattered that the announcer actually knew who I was and played up the fact I was from NM. It was pretty embarassing to get pulled, but I was also relieved. I know next time what to do better! I’m not very happy right now because they made a mistake and didn’t include me in the results. I know I was 3rd to last…at least I wasn’t DFL. I’ll have to get to the race extra early tomorrow and make sure they put me back in the GC. I’m hoping tomorrow(the last stage), I can stay in the pack and conserve energy until the climb, then give it all I got… not that it will help my GC placing, but I want to finish this 5 day suffer-fest with a bang.

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