Ok so to start off...yesterday I was placed at the 73rd position. They did take my time at lap 8 to go. 1:17:30. Atleast I'm the same as the field.
On to today. Today was not looking too good weather wise. But it did come through alright during the race. They actually changed the course a little I guess...it was 6 laps of an 8.6 mile loop with a couple of rollers and a 500m climb up to the finish. We got to the race a little later than expected. I got ready and it was already time to line up pretty much. I got a spot in about the 5th row...I believe. I'm pretty tired so I may be wrong, but it was up there. It was sprinkling a little bit, but not horribly bad. They were going to stop the race if the weather got too bad. Never did. Actually cleared up after the first lap. From the gun, the race had a blistering pace going. People were attacking and the teams would not let them go...then another group would attack and the pace stayed high for the first 3 laps. I was just hanging on the back pretty much the whole time. A couple gaps opened up here and there so I would have to close them...a few I was worried I wouldn't be able to close, but the field slowed down just enough for me to get back on, which was a relief. The field was disintegrating quickly. Lap 4 slowed down a little bit...I think some of the teams were a little tired. So that was a little bit of good rest. Lap 5 sped up again and again I was hanging on for dear life. Every time I looked back I was 5th from the back even after moving up 10-15 positions at times. Lap 6 was fast too...seeing that it was the last lap and teams were getting their sprinters into place. On one of the climbs on the backside I passed Jamie Kimberly from Illinois. He decided to grab hold of my jersey pocket to help him up. But for reimbursement he gave me a little push. No prob...I thought it was funny. During the last lap I witnessed two crashes...right in front of me of course. One was around a left turn that was still wet due to tree coverage. 3 MSU guys down right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, but not enough to slide my wheels out from underneath me. I did not want to join them and ruin my position. I got through that alright. Then about 2 miles later, two guys go down on a straight away, pretty much right in front of me again...this time I really had to slam on the brakes. My rear wheel fish-tailed a little, but I was able to save it. At this point the race got extremely fast. I tried to drill it back up to the field after losing a little ground due to the crash. I was successful, but only after about a mile of it and I was spent. I was able to hold on the back, but then another surge went and I started falling off just before the final climb. I also started cramping a little bit in the quads. I just kept going, because it was the finish and because I saw some of the guys in the field starting to fall of on the climb that I could gain some time on. About 3/4th up I passed the yellow jersey and got about 15 seconds on him, which was awesome. He definitely exploded, due to the crawling uphill at a very slow pace. I was able to come in about 20-25 seconds back from the field at the end. About 40th position I think. Only about 50 or so finished in the main field.
I think it was a good race. Hard, but good. It showed me what I can do and that I have atleast some form. I wanted to just drop out after 2 laps...but I kept going because I thought it was going to slow down just a little bit, after a break went. But no break = no break for me. I made it through two days now and I think I'm sitting decently on the GC...at least for my ability. I moved up a little bit on the GC...I'll know more tomorrow for that.
Tomorrow's race will be extremely hard. 64 mile out and back with 5 climbs. Guys that have done this stage before said to have a 27 cog in the back. Well, I have a 25. I'll have to live with it. I just hope to lose less than 20 minutes on the field. It'll be hard and I'm going to try my best.