Yesterday was quite the day. It was an 86 mile road stage with 4600 feet of climbing broken up into two main climbs. One at 26 miles and the other at 70. However, there were sprint points right before each of the two climbs.
Personally, my goal was to go for the sprinters jersey! Giana has tuned me up quite well for this race and after a decent showing at US Pro Criterium Saturday, I felt like I was ready to GO! Fireworks started early and I was in the mood to get in any break that went up the road. All the teams were up there and throwing horses in the race, so I figured there was a good chance of something happening. It played out well since it got me in good position for the first sprint. I ended up getting in the train but only came up 4th. No bother though, it gave me confidence that I was in the mix and I was already thinking about the next one. Up the hill I did OK. Since it was right after the hill I just set tempo up the hill and was ahead of Taylor Phinney and a bunch of other folks that I knew would catch back on on the descent or after. So I was still in high spirits.
I crested the hill with Josh and Cody and started the descent. While I was in Tahoe I spent a lot of time working on high speed descending. Specifically, I worked on sitting on my top tube and tucking behind the handlebars. I felt comfortable seemed to be passing people and then... boom! A cross wind took my front wheel and pushed me right, as we were lining up for a left hand turn. I went straight off the road and into a ditch at 49.4 MPH. The soft shoulder took my bike and I sis a Super Man onto the rocky shoulder. Fortunately Morgan Schmidt's (my old BISSELL team mate) family saw me go off the road and got me back on my steed. By this time, the pack and all the follow vehicles were gone, my handlebars were turned 10 degrees to the left, and I was pretty ripped up. Road rash on my chest, back, arms, and legs... and I am finding seemingly every hour.
I kept on going, hoping to make time cut. But as my water bottles emptied and my food stores were depleted, my body had other plans. Legs cramping, dry mouth, and light headed I finished the race. But not inside time cut.
Not happy with what happened, but I feel grateful nothing was broken on my body or on my bike.