You probably know by now that I crashed. Hard. Yet, I don’t want to allow this event to steal the thunder of what was supposed to come.
First things first.
The Cascade Cycling Classic is one of my favorite stage races of all time. Maybe it is because it is one of the only races I have done more than once in my short professional career, or maybe it is because I have become mildly obsessed with the beautiful scenery of Bend, Oregon. Maybe I haven’t done all the races there are to do in this world, but regardless, I love Cascade. Upon returning from the Giro, I was excited to test my new European legs in one of the last tours of the season in the US.
Test those legs I did.
First stage. 2mile prologue. Under 4minutes of pain. Only 3 of us broke the 4 minute barrier. It may be short, but will cause a hacking cough for the rest of the evening. Over 30mph. I got 3rd. There is no strategy to a prologue of that length. You go hard. You go until your legs burn and you taste iron, and then you go harder. Before you know it, you are done. I like it. The pain is worth it.
I was happy with this result. My legs were ready to rock. Bring on the mountains of Cascade.
Things were looking good going into the 74mile race of McKenzie Pass. And then it happened. I was floating back on a completely wide open descent to try to remove my frame number from getting caught in my rear brakes and spokes. I wasn’t concerned, it was straightforward. A crash occurred in front of me, and I saw the clear line to avoid the carnage of bikes, carbon wheels and women. However, a rider to my right panicked, locked up her brakes and crashed directly in front of me. Before I knew it, I was flying through the air, and landing soundly onto the highway, rolling under a truck on its way to a farmer’s market in Sisters.
I quickly surveyed the damage. No road rash. I learned from an early age from my dad, that no blood meant everything was okay. Where was the blood? No where. I was in business. I jumped up to grab my bike from the mechanic to keep racing. My body convulsed into a panic. Into a shock. Why was I screaming? There wasn’t any blood. Just relax. Then I lost consciousness. I fought to keep racing. I wanted to keep racing. I love to race. I felt great. Why wouldn’t anyone listen to me?
It could have been worse. I was air lifted out of McKenzie Pass back to Bend for a CT Scan, and X-Rays. It could have been worse. I didn’t suffer any brain damage besides my concussion, but I did fracture my pelvis in two places. I am a strong, sturdy girl. I don’t break. How did this happen? I guess I crashed hard. Really hard. It could have been worse, or at least that is what I am told.
I will keep you posted on the recovery process. I will focus on healing now. Healing, and trusting that God has a plan for this. There is a plan. There is a reason. I will return stronger. That doesn’t mean I am not frustrated, not upset, and not disappointed. I am all of the above. This crushes me.
I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support that i have received. It is comforting to know that you are there for me in the good times of yellow jerseys and podiums to the bad times of helicopters, fractures, and even muscle cramps. I continue to be humbled by this, and am so appreciative of your love and support.
Man, I really wanted to race that time trial yesterday. Darn.