I had never won a crit and never won a stage race. To finish it this way, I was in nothing short of shock.
I made the rice muffins w/ chocolate chips in them from the allen lim cookbook with the intention of having some pre-race food and RR fuel. At 12am I was still fully awake tossing in my bed. I decided it'd be a good idea to check on the muffins which were cooled off by now in the fridge. They were ooey gooey. I pulled them out of the tin, placed it on some aluminum foil and put them back in the oven. Pulled them out to put back in the fridge. On the way over, the foil broke and hot muffin/molten chocolate chips all over my feet. That'll definitely help me go back to sleep.
I gave up, knowing I'd have to be up at 4:30am. I took a benedryl which is the WORST medicine you can take to fall asleep. It is an anticholinergic, which inhibitively blocks the neurotransmitters from working. Essentially it's the opposite of having some coffee. Problem is that when you are racing in just a matter of hours, it's still very much in the sytem.
Road Race (Sat 8am)
Roman Kilun gave me a 5hr energy at the race start. I was sooo sleepy and stale for the first 35 miles of the race. When we hit the gravel, the 5hr Energy kicked in. THANK YOU!
Finished the race watching Eric pull out of his pedals in the sprint and finished with the same time as the field, just happy to get done and ready for a serious night of sleep.
TT (Sun 8am)
8am TT start? Really? Anyways, another early wakeup. I don't recall riding mostly because I was still sleeping. All I know is that I got rocked by 40 seconds by Roman (Kenda/5hr Energy) and Teeter (Marc Pro/Strava).
CRIT (Sun 12:30pm)
Started the day nearly 50 seconds back, sitting in 3rd. Roman was sitting in 2nd, 8 seconds back. We both agreed it'd be nice if one of us got the win. From very early on in the race, Roman and I ended up in a move and it looked promising. We got pulled back. Roman attacked with another rider. I sat two wheels back from Teeter who was chasing. The rider in front of me was Dan Heeley (Hagens Berman). Dan attacks and we bridge up to Roman. We were off for several laps. I was really committed to this one thinking that if we broke the leash on the field, we could lap the field and Roman would get the win, I'd move up to 2nd.
It came back. This was with about 45-55 minutes left of racing.
Thinking to myself: "I'm tired, my legs hurt, I over committed to that break and now I'm caught", I thought it'd be a good idea to attack again as soon as we were caught. I sprinted hard and turned around and saw nothing but a big mushroom behind me. Roman and Eric were sitting up at the front of the field. I later looked behind and saw a light blue Fremont Bank kit coming across. "They've got 4 or 5 in the field, SWEET!". It was my friend Julian Martinez. I waited and gave him a few laps of sitting on before calling him for a stretch of help each lap. Eric was back there playing gatekeeper and blocking like a boss.
Within just a few laps, we had almost 40 seconds on the field. I looked to the pits and saw Teeter sitting there with a flat wheel in the pits so I figured he'd have to know what was going on with me gaining a bit of time on him up the road so I gave a hard, hard dig for the next few laps. Roman (2nd in GC at the start of the day) helped me out big time, making sure it was Teeter's job to pull (the GC leader at the start of the day)
With a dead garmin battery, I had no idea how long I had left in the race. All I knew was that the lap cards still weren't up and I was suffering. I was tempted to ask Julian what his computer said but I was legitimately afraid of hearing him say 40 more minutes.
I'm hurting and I finally see 15 laps on the lap cards. (insert explicative here)... that's at least another 20 minutes of hitting it hard. 5 laps later, Craig Fellers (Red Peleton, right behind me in GC) came across and behind I saw two more coming. I chilled for a stretch to let them latch on and hit it hard again knowing we need the speed to get back up and they'd get a bit of rest. They pulled through and I finally got some much, much needed recovery.
At this point, we were getting within closing distance of lapping the field; however, they kept giving us a time gap of 40 seconds to a chase group. I didn't know if Teeter was in this group so had to make sure to keep the time gap up.
Not wanting there to be any slowing down on the last lap, I put my head down coming into the last lap and put in a 1k effort to try to finish the day. Mid lap and I asked for a short pull from Craig. He pulled through and I got back to the front to finish off the day. Coming around the last corner I was burning fumes. I pulled wide looking to see the other 4 pass by in hopes of grabbing a wheel to get the same time, maybe 3rd for some time bonus. I looked over and didn't see it happening so just turned over the pedals through the line to a bit of a surprise to myself to also get the stage.