Friday, March 23, 2007

Sunday - Stage 3 TT

Today is a double stage: 9.1k TT and 60k circuit race. Recovery mix and dry cornflakes for breakfast. Dehydrated and depleted but thinking maybe I am getting better. Hiroko still sick, Andrea now sick too. Megan in bed. Kiki the bus driver was getting tired and had overslept, so we left for the time trial 45 minutes before the scheduled start. I was in 8th place overall so would start toward the end. We arrived at the start first having driven to the finish line by mistake, 15 minutes in advance. My legs felt awful. The Guatemalans lent me their rollers and I was able to do a hard interval to bring the heart rate up, while others rolled around the parking lot. I had aero bars and a fast front wheel. The top riders had full tt gear. Jorge gave us the rundown on the course, indicating a number of places to be considered "safety mode," given hazardous road conditions and turns on a course none of us had ever seen. As the team's lead rider, I was followed behind by Jorge and Pete in the team truck, in case I had a mechanical. They also provided safety: the course was open to traffic. I was protected but almost flew off course a few times because of confusing marshalling. I started ok, but then was absolutely lugging it, wallowing, up a gradual false flat into a headwind. I finished strong through some corners and round-abouts but had really had a weak middle section of the race. At the line the race was not the focus: everyone had felt their safety in jeopardy and Hiroko had taken a wrong turn and been riding in traffic, Mandy ushered around a roundabout twice. We soon we learned that a Guatamalan had been hit by bus. All of us silenced and disbelieving, Jorge furious in his cool way, we high-tailed it out of there, for once close enough to travel on our own outside the caravan.

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