The time trial went well for me. I was 28th out of all the riders in the TT. This was good enough to push me to 21st in the general classification (time over all the races so far among everybody racing) and to the top in the cat 2 competition. That was my moment of glory and I believe I owe it to Marc. First, he had me practice the TT the last few weeks and then he lent me his TT equipment. With the vicious headwind, the specialized equipment conferred a distinct advantage. That being said, I believe I could come to really enjoy time trials. Nothing to think about except the rhythm/pace. It's strangely relaxing, or maybe that's the shortage of oxygen to the brain. No matter. I've really come to appreciate the nuances involved in time trialing and look forward to getting better at it.
My fall from glory happened as quickly as it had risen.
After the stage 3 time trial, I was 21st in the general classification and 2nd in the cat 2's. However, when one of my teammates noticed who was 1st in the cat 2s, she said, "I think she's a cat 1." We looked it up on USAcycling.org and sure enough, she was listed as a cat 1 and the leader of the Colorado crit points. Upon bringing this to the attention of the officials and few phone calls later, we were told that I was the #1 and they gave me a jersey. Another flurry of phone calls, it was reported that her cat 1 upgrade request had be denied and something about Colavita not being a national team or something. I don't know, but I didn't wear the jersey and when I got called up the entire field moved, so although it was kind of nice hearing my name get announced and all that, it didn't really impact the crit situation.
We lined up really early. In fact, I sat at the start line for over 30 minutes and when the race started my legs were as if I hadn't warmed up at all. My excellent starting position was quickly blown and I found hanging on the back end of the main group to be plenty challenging enough. Halfway through the race, my legs came to and I was able to move up, but then they were like a poorly tuned radio, coming in and going out. It was all I could do to hold onto the group. I just kept reminding myself that unless one of the other cat 2s was one of the top three, they wouldn't get any bonus points and I probably wouldn't fall that far in the standings. Of course, I could be wrong about that, but all you can do is all you can do.
Tomorrow should be a better day for me. It will be a long sufferfest where those with slow-twitch muscle majorities should fare better than in the blistering flat crits provided nutrition is managed and dehydration avoided. My plan is Hammer Nutrition's Perpetuem. You can mix it as strong as you want, even to the consistency of goo, and it sits well in my stomach. I don't much care for the "Orange Creme" taste, but it's not terrible and taste isn't the point. The point is to keep the machine running to the end. I'll also use Elete electrolyte tablets and lots of water. According to my teamie who's done this thing before, the finishing circuit has a monster of a hill that shatters the field. In case you didn't know, these road races finish in small towns where at the end of an exhausting road race you have to do a 5 lap criterium. Blech. More news later. Must sleep now.