Stage 4: Mt. Bachelor RR
Distance: 71 miles.
The course started just outside of Bend, and started on a pretty significant 2 mile climb…then was followed by a fast sweeping descent…the most beautiful set of rollers along Cascade Lake Hwy, then finally, the last 30k consisted of a climb up to Mt. Bachelor. The RR ended at around 8500ft.
Cycling is a team sport, and I know I mentioned that previously. Team TIBCO going into Stage 4 was in a good position to dominate and to dictate the race. In GC before Stage 4: AFR 2nd, Kat 3rd, JBev 4th, Me 6th, MM 9th, and JoJo 14th. Wow. Talk about a stacked lineup. In order to get a win, we can’t all be going for individual results. We need to be working for and with each other to secure a TEAM result. We need to be willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of a team result. I am game. I don’t mind racing harder than I ever thought possible. I don’t mind throwing myself into the pain cave. By doing this, I will not only be getting stronger, but I will also be fulfilling a job on the team. I love it.Race starts. Whistle blows. LT attacks. Yes. On the gun. Up the climb. Within the first 3k of the race, we have already started bringing the fire. LT ends up in a break from this move that lasts 50k. Webcor has to chase (They have the Yellow Jersey). Perfect. Break gets caught. We counter and counter. Another break launches. Gets caught, we attack again. And again.
This is probably one of the most beautiful road race courses ever. But, as we approach the last 20k of the race, we are flying over the rollers and very quickly approaching the climb. I launch another attack, and start the climb with a group of 3 other girls. We hold it off for some time, then finally the climbers catch us, and there is about 6.5k left on the climb. Finally, I have reached my limit. All the attacking has set in the legs, and MM flies by me and tells me to get on her wheel. Yeah right. I had nothing left. Job done. Mission accomplished. AFR ended up taking 2nd in the stage. Webcor road a great race, but we still have the strength in numbers.
Easy spin tomorrow AM, and then the Downtown Bend Twilight Criterium!
Z sent me this picture of the ride up to the finish at Bachelor. Funny, I don’t remember this. I think I had my head down, seeing red, and driving a break up the climb. This is the one view that I remember from last year that I loved. I missed it today. Good thing I got a reminder.
Good news, we have the fire power. We have the numbers. It makes our racing hard, but that’s what we do. Hard racing.