by Trish Pablo

There were seven of us. As the climbing started two popped off. A few miles up ahead there were rollers and another popped off. So, down to 4. One of the ladies with us was not really working, likely in an effort to save her legs for the later laps and because there were a couple of her team mates in the selection with us as well. The other three of us in the selection were doing more of the work, so it was kind of obvious who the main team was working for.


Anyways, first lap went well. Second lap, two women were attacking on the climb, and I was behind another rider who let a gap open.  Burned a match trying to catch the attacks after the gap opend up...and one match definitely became many matches. I never caught them, they kept getting further and further away until I couldn't see them anymore.  I pretty much dragged the others around for most of the second lap. I was desperately trying to drop the other rider, since she wasn’t working while her team mate was up the road, but I was so exhausted! I even slowed down to about 10 mph to see if she would come around. It was kinda funny, she wouldn't come around. The third lap came along with the climb and I popped! She took off. I was so close to quitting that that turning around went through my head at least 4 times. But I held on and finished. I'm so glad I did, as I got 5th and an epic lesson in bumpy road riding, steep climbs and descents, and how to tactically ride when team mates are up the road.