Stage 1

Stage One.

Supposed to be a somewhat big day, 42 miles of high mountain love. Learn at the start that it’s really a 37ish mile romp. Sweet, recalibrate from 5hr mindset to ballpark fourish. Neutral start heads out of town behind the local popo, nicely brake checking us in the turns, sweet. Neutral tow rolls off, we hit the opening climb and I settle into pretty much what was the roll out pace.

Gotta let it come to me, settle in and breeeeeeeeath. Do a few systems checks then decide to light a match or two, slot in line w/ the contenders, keeping Jake & Jeff in sight and Dicky too after my pee break at 45minutes. Jeep Track continues up then turns into a rippin steep wide open descent, if you can coast. Get passed by a lot of riders, boil the shoulda been bled front brake and reevaluate the plan for the day.

First aid station appears soon enough, then a nice rolling climb up to the CT. CT gives and takes and takes and takes, now into the heart of the day, altitude starts taking effect, but pretty much everybody is in the same boat. Not just the one speeders huffin and puffing. Push, slum pedal, push, slum pedal, thinking about the big picture, push. Some casual back n forth with the gearies, get a small gap, then hike, get a small gap, then hike. Then bust out of the trees into a blinging landscape that just has to be captured. Bit more of open-ish climbing, see Dicky ahead, but the legs want a break, and the air is thin. Take a quick 5-10minute Sally sit down and regroup for the next portion.

Instinct stoppage time put me at the top, opening a gap to those ahead and holding an apparently big gap behind also, had the entire descent to myself. Just rolling the fixy flow at perfect cadence spinnin’, letting the mind be blown by the primo conditions. Pop out of the trees again into one of the sweetest meadows I’ve ever been in. Tight benched ribbon thru the wildflowers, kick back the pace for a bit to be the tourist gapper. Snap some pics, get rolling once more and finally have company. Fellow bloggity blogger Jen rolls up turning those shifty bits and becomes a nice carrot for the return leg.

Thru the last aid, bit of open road foot off relaxation, then a few hits of urban backyard linkage before a taste of flumeness. Caught Jen on one of the rolling ups, then went looking for more. Poked the pedaling ninja and woke him up, feeling like this is the final push home, so let instinct take over and open it up a bit. WooHoooo!!!! Reel in a couple familiar jerseys from earlier in the day over these last few minutes, then the always welcome sound of PA chit chat floats up from down below. Hit the finish line content, somewhere’s around 3:30 couple elapsed for the 35 or so ridden. End result shows me giving up 30+ minutes in the single GC, reality is setting in, gonna be a long week.

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