It was 104 degrees Fahrenheit for the women’s race in Santa Ynez California, 110 for the men’s. The area, known for its’ wine and Michael Jackson’s ranch offered riders rolling hills dotted with beautiful Oak trees. The sparse trees did not provide more than 10 seconds of shade relief along the 50min loop. We raced 2 laps. The race was off to a great Start for my team with Georgia leading, Katerina in 2nd and me third. We were quickly separating ourselves from the trek girls and Heather Irmiger. I got around Katerina after the first climb and was on Georgia’s wheel, but she kept ramping up the pace and I wasn’t able to hold her wheel for long. I watched her ride off into the distance berating myself for not being able to push harder. I haven’t suffered that much since…well Houffalize. Time trialling out there in 2nd position I had little to focus on, but how hot and crappy I felt. My mind was doing way too much thinking. I tried to think about pedalling smoothly, but ended up thinking about everything but.
Luckily Kelli Emmet caught me at the start of lap 2. Yes I was thankful to be caught. Now I could focus on something other that how crappy I felt, how much I’d like to puke or go enjoy some air conditioning. With Kelli ahead of me I regained energy and focus and took control back over how I felt. Throwing water on my back each feedzone and focusing on draining my bottles. Kelli and I rode the rest of the race together. I attacked on the 2nd last climb and was slowly gaining the advantage by the last long switchbacking climb when I saw Georgia bent over on the side of the trail puking. I checked in with her and she said “hey good job”. She has no recollection of this, passing out with heat stroke and having to be taken to the hospital for an IV. As a precautionary measure they also ran a cat scan on her. Passing out from heat and dehydration can be pretty serious. She’s now stiff and tired, but recuperating back at the hotel.
Back to the race. So I slowly gained the advantage only to loose it on the last open descent. The course ended with a couple minutes of flat rough singletrack. Kelli was on my wheel and I was busy debating whether I should bury myself to make an attack harder or go easy to be able to go with the inevitable attack when it came. I chose the later, perhaps wrongly as I was not able to cover the attack when it did come. Kelli opened 10 seconds on me for her first ever NMBS win. 2nd was my best NMBS result too so not a bad day…and I won the coffee mug Waldek promised me as added incentive for a podium finish. Mical Dyck also claimed her first podium finish with a 5th amking it 3 trek gals on the podium (3rd Lea Davison, 4th Jen Smith). Blowing up seemed to be the theme of the day as only 20 women finishing the race. Katerina, after removing the insoles from her shoes because her feet were too hot finished 7th and Chloe who started hard, blew and then moved up again finished 16th. As you probably guessed Georgia was trucked out of the event. At first really disoriented and thinking she had a bad crash she slowly remembered more of the day and weaving back and forth on the climb before having to dismount, not even able to push her bike
So tomorrow is an early spin to clear the legs, Team Breakfast at Paula’s pancake house and then short track racing at 1:15