If At First You Don't Succeed, Fail, Fail Again.

Day three dawned on the Tour of Anchorage with fresh chances to fall further down the GC rankings. A time trial and road race out at Point MacKenzie, which is a couple miles from Anchorage or about a 90 minute drive. There's a stretch of pavement only used by the prison, fishermen, and people that house their children in Conex containers. It's about the best venue for road racing out here, despite the drive.
 
Today's first failure took the form of a warped freehub body on my time trial bike's disc wheel. The lower gears of the cassette had a mesmerizing elliptical pattern that prevented proper shifting. A quick swap of wheels to my fat Chinese carbon twin and verification of derailleur alignment and I was back in action... except my Garmin chose that moment to go on the fritz. Another quick swap with a suitable sub and I was all ready to ride a sub-par time trial.
 
The first rule of time trials is never go out too hard. I took this to heart, and then doubled down. Before I knew it, Ed was riding off into the distance and passing me in GC. I expected that. When I got to the turnaround, I took the corner wide, started braking, hit some gravel, and skidded 20 feet past the cone. Disgusted, I then sprinted to make up for lost time and blew up. I did manage to put some time into some people, but not nearly enough to make any real difference in my new battle for 8th place.
 
The road race would be different. In this case, I had spent some time fixing the race bike so it would be in perfect shape for the road race, and it performed flawlessly. I wish I could say the same for the engine. With the fast kids watching each other, a headwind, and a pack that was unwilling to give even the most futile of breakaways much rope, it was obvious to me that it was going to come down to a sprint. The only problem was that my entire left leg locked up at the 30 mile point with a severe cramp, and I spent the rest of the race alternating between recovering and responding to surges. Things were not looking good.
 
As we approached the finish, I positioned myself in what I thought was a good spot behind some strong riders. It wasn't. When the spring went, they didn't, and I was blocked and gapped. A little surfing from blown rider to blown rider took me up to 5th, but as the bonus seconds stopped at 3rd and the first ten riders finished with the same time, that didn't amount to much.
 
The big upside was that Pete managed not only to rein in his pointless attacking style and actually finish a race with the pack, but take 3rd place for the stage thanks to some good positioning. He might be learning, but I'm not holding my breath.
 
Tomorrow caps it all off, and I only have to get into a big breakaway and take every sprint and finish bonus to move up to 7th.
 
Sure, why not?


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