Saturday: 90.9mi Road Race with about 7000feet of climbing.
This stage was definitely not a usual road race and more reminded me of Adventure Racing! You would think the challenging course would make it an unforgettable race in itself but there was more to come.
After about mile 44, the motor ref stopped the entire women’s field because we were not on race course anymore. So we had to turn around and restart the race. Since there was a breakaway up the road which also got off the race course, the break was allowed to start 3minutes ahead of the peloton.
After about 60mi or so, the same happened again. We got somehow off course and the field was neutralized. But instead of restarting right away, we had to wait for the break to come back because they also went the wrong way but farther ahead. By the time they came back, the two Men’s races, Cat 2 and 3, came through. So we probably spent 20 to 30minutes sitting in the shade waiting for the restart.
Once the race restarted, we faced a long and steep climb up Blue Knob including a grade of 18% gravel section. Once over the mountain, groups formed and I got into a group of maybe 15 racers with my teammates Lindsay and Erin.
We all rode together over the next mountain and everything was fine until mile 75 when I got a flat. I was about to run back to the last QOM half a mile when a follow vehicle stopped and provided a new wheel.
The entire process took maybe two or three minutes, unfortunately too long to be able to catch on to my group. So I raced for 15 miles by myself to the finish, but happy anyway!