Tour of the Gila--->
When you suck at cyclocross you only suck for 45 minutes.
When you suck at road racing your suckitude is on display three or four hours at a time.
I'm a small fish in a small pond that jumped into the ocean and met some pretty big fish.
It's one thing to hang with or even be near the front of the local fast Tuesday night ride on a 22 mile loop but an entirely different set of knives gets pulled out at a national event.
Not 100% sure why the national age category crit champion was racing the Masters 40/50/60 Cat 3/4/5 race... guess a Cat 3 won nats but holy crap was the pace fast!
Stage 1. Insane fast corkscrew downhill and then a ton of climbing. I was next to last on the stage, 61 miles
Stage 2. 16 mile TT. I beat 3 or 4 guys. Standard bike with cheap clip-ons, aluminum rims. Some of the guys had full on/ pro level TT bikes
Stage 3. 15 lap, 16 mile four corner crit, all four corners wide and sweeping fast
Slight grade on the start finish/ line
2nd leg, increasing grade to about 2%
3rd side, steep kicker up to 5% followed by a steep drop leading into a smoking fast turn
4th side continues downhill where everyone is flying!
...and back to the start/ finish line
Me and three other guys got pulled with a couple laps to go.
Stage 4. 71 mile/ 6000+' of climbing.
10 miles in I was suffering like a dog, couldn't breath, legs were smoked so I drifted back... even past the few guys that were already popped, raised my hand and told the official to give me a DNF.
1) I was serious undertrained for four days in a row
2) The elevation did factor in even though it only topped out at about 7,500'
3) I need to take descending lessons from Cancellara instead of the Schleck brothers
4) If I'm going to do this race again and take it serious I need to drop some coin and buy speed-- wheels, TT bike
Stayed at host housing and made friends with a wonderful couple whose home is dope control at the end of Stage 4 (5 for the Pro's). She cracked that her claim to fame is Lance Armstrong peed in her bathroom.