My teammate, Jamie, alerted me that I'd made the Fick's featured photo. I clicked the link and immediately recalled just how bad I was hurting in that pic. In fact, even after slowly pedaling two more laps, I was so dizzy and hot that I felt I might get really sick and pass out if I didn't get the body temp dropped, so I took a dunk in a fountain near our tent.
That was the final day of Gateway Cup on the University loop race. It was my last chance to get into a break and I rode aggressively in order to be in every break that a teamie wasn't. Moreover, I threw down counter-attacks at every opportunity. Finally it paid off. I jumped for a prime early (thanks Michelle J. for those lessons) and after coming across the line, looked back to see a big gap. Instead of pulling up and sucking air, I just kept going. Eventually I was joined by Colavita's Nichole, San Jose's Whitney and my sprinting teamie, Carrie.
When I saw Carrie was there, I figured my job was to make sure the break survived and that she arrived at the line ready to sprint, so I pulled and pulled hard. Whitney relieved me about once a lap. On the final lap, Nichole jumped hard and Carrie wasn't able to shut her down, so she and I ended up 2nd and 3rd. I gave everything I had left for I didn't want another 4th place finish like last year when I pulled the most and lost the sprint to my 3 breakaway companions.
Looking back, perhaps Carrie and I should have started tag-teaming Nichole, since she was the strongest threat, but neither of us thought of that. Watch out next time though, that would have been so fun.