Sunday, June 21, 2009
Epic "reduced" to mountain sprint for GC
Last night at Barley Brown's today's Stage 4 was all the talk - nearly 102 miles with the final 8 miles to the summit of Dooley Mt. - "epic" for all us wannabes. Last year riders dropped in 95 degree heat and dehydration... I was so pumped for this!
The pouring rain that greeted us at dawn (see previous post) finally delayed the start and forced OBRA officials to wisely shorten the stage to a neutral start out of Baker City, a 30+ mph "warm up" to the base of Dooley Mt. up the backside (12 miles or so) and then the attacks launched up the climb and cold married wet to make the race for the summit and "epic" uphill TT!
With the GC up for grabs Z-Team and Hutch were hammering on the front and Scott Powell and I were make the best of a shattering peleton. Pedal turn by pedal turn guys were dropping off and back. Then the surge - and the wheel in front of me gaps off - damn it! Out of the saddle I sprint around him and grab the fleeting six (two others, Zimbelman one of them) were just up the road distancing themselves from the chase. I felt like I was breathing just to save my life - just not enough warm up for these 'ol legs! Finally I buried myself into a rythym and then another surge. I spun faster to just catch on with a kilometer and a half to go and then Scott hit the gas one more time trying to make his break - I lost the wheels and chased the front group to the line with one other guy. We shared wheels for a K and then we gapped.
Damn that was incredibly hard!! Results have not been posted but I think I was top ten on the stage - and that should have moved me up on GC into the top 20 - season goal accomplished!! (okay - goal number one). Thanks for your help Scott! Update later tonight.