Beaten by these women in their 50s… WOW!

Sea Otter Classic #day3

65K Road Race (1100m elevation) ??
I have now survived 3 nights of camping, just.
Saturday night seemed to be the big party night in the camp. Our neighbours literally were just there to get drunk, nothing else! At least last night was warmer, I could actually leave my arms (in 2 jackets) outside the sleeping bag without them freezing off!

I still feel like death upon waking though.

I head down towards the start area. On the way down during my warm-up, my di2 gives in again [?] check the elevation above. I NEED SHIFTING!
5 mins before the start, some of my gears are working, all but the largest 2 rings on the cassette. I lose all faith and I am prepared to get dropped up the first hill as my gears most likely will fail. I can’t take anymore of this. Too stressful.

Today Masters Cat start alone. We head out. I can climb. It’s heavy. But I can climb. 5 laps total. Honestly, I am bored. I sit at the front for sooooo long. At the front up the hills (with 2 climbers off the saddle a lot). At the front on the flat. No one seem to want to take the front. I sit there because I am a little bored. At least I am in control. I also observe the other riders. Who can climb? Who can ride hard flat? Who’s a good wheel down hill? Who gets tired when? I think I got it covered.

After the last few races, finishing just outside the podium and also living without electricity, water, heating, bed etc, I wasn’t too bothered about results. More so the experience. So I decided to take some risks. On the second last long hill, I attached at the top. 3 of us got away. However the work in the breakaway wasn’t equally shared. 4 caught us. I attacked again on the next small hill. Not sure what happened behind, but the long hill on the final lap was up. Keep pedalling. Same 3 made it together over the top. Last lap. Let’s keep the pace up. One from behind catches us. 4 is more efficient than 3.

The finish line is at the top of a climb. One rider attacks, I go with her. She attacks again, I go with her (I am suffering here). She attacks again. I am done! I stay in my own zone. I need rest. Did I go too deep??
I get overtaken by the next rider. She is around half my size. I have to do my own tempo. I am now 3rd on the climb. I suffer.
This is my last chance. I am faced with the same issue as on the circuit.
I have two options:
I dig deeper and suffer more??
Or I quit??
The 4th rider is not far behind. I see the 1K sign. I decide I want that podium spot. So I talk myself into more suffering.
I reach the finish line 3rd. And I literally almost fall off my bike.

The suffering was totally worth it!!

And I am happy to finish with a podium spot, all circumstances considering and after not racing to my best ability the last few days.

The top spots are taken by a 57 and 52 year old. TOTAL ADMIRATION They are great climbers.
I want to be as strong as them with whatever I choose to do in my 50s!

And that was the end of my US racing

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