Tour of the Gila: Stage 3

The morning of Stage 3 was rough with the fatigue of racing 150 miles at 6000ft. of elevation over the past 2 days. Start times were around 3pm so it allowed time to sit in the bed, eat at my leisure, and roll the 5 miles to the course at a lazy pace. I have mentioned before that Road Time Trials are my achillies heel so the plan on the day was to go hard and try to minimize my losses.

The weather would naturally choose to add to my woes with a sustained crosswind of 20mph with gusts to 30mph. I started with the goal of not going too hard in the first 3 minutes and ramping into powering over the climbs and recovering a bit on the descents.

In the end I lost 3:17 to the winner and 2:43 to the GC leader. I dropped to 15th on GC at 4:35 behind the leader which effectively killed my hope of a GC podium.

On the plus side I was able to bomb the final descent at 40+mph in the aerobars. I have never really trusted myself in the aerobars descending and even less in 30mph wind gusts so I’m slowing working out the fear limiters I’ve dealt with. Also, I only dropped a little over 2 minutes to my teammate Jon who put 3 minutes into me in a shorter TT with less wind 2 weeks ago. I am progressing, but it’s hard to be patient when I see races slipping out of my grasp.

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