CASCADE CLASSIC - BEND, OREGON - JULY 11-14th
STAGE 1 - 74miles (approx 120km) - over 7000ft (2300m) of climbing - way too hot!!!
OK, I know I said I wouldn't complain about the warm temperature (cause its
probably raining and cold in Wellington) - but this is crazy...the max
temperature while we were racing today was 114F (well over 40C) and the average
temperature was 98F (about 40C).
Today's stage was an epic, they are describing it as one of the hardest in
America, with some 7000ft of climbing. The women's race got off to a good start,
the first 20miles was pretty much downhill, so tucked in the peleton life was
sweet! At 20 miles it was time for the first mountain pass of the day -
McKenzie...an awesome climb though huge pine trees and I was actually feeling
pretty good, sitting nicely in the second row...one by one the riders were
pinging off the back. About 2/3rds of the way up the climb (which went for about
20miles!) National USA road champ Kimberly Bruck
ner put the hammer down... I
couldn't match her pace, but found myself in a nice chase group of seven (there
were 2 riders between Kimberly and our chase group). As we neared the top of the
climb we came out of the forest and into these amazing lava fields, with huge
snow capped mountains on either side (not that I took in much of the scenery)
and the temperature really started cooking.
The descent was awesome fun, I was charging...not sure what was up with the
others they all seemed a little nervous..I guess all that practise trying to
keep up with Marco down Dowse Dr. has paid off!!...hmm well the bottom of the
descent was pretty much where the fun ended...from here it was about 10miles of
flat into a head wind before the start of the ascent up the Twin Sisters.
By now the heat was really getting to me...20km to go and the road started to
climb and our bunch was shelled to pieces. I managed to hold the first chicks
wheel for a while and then fell back to the next girl...
Man, I got total heat stroke, that was the longest 10km of my life....I was
pouring water all over myself in attempt to cool off...I'd drunken heaps but
knew I was in trouble, cold prickly feeling through my legs and arms....it was
going to be a lonely grind up the last 10km. 5km to go and the gravel edge on
the road looked so appealing, why couldn't I just fall off my bike and crawl
into the shade?? I tried telling myself it was just mental and I guess it kind
of worked, well I kept turning the pedals anyway. Ahh...the 200m sign to
go...but there was nothing in my legs, I'm guessing this was the slowest 200m of
my life. Finished the stage with heat exhaustion and downed about 4 bottles of
water! Somehow I think I managed to finish in 6th place...I've never seen a
field so spread out - Kimberly Bruckner (Saturn) rode awesome - a solo effort
and some 10mins ahead of me.
Its amazing how the body recovers after a shower and some dinner I feel somewhat
we have a 1mile uphill TT and then a criterium in the
evening - hopefully plenty of time to recover...just my luck though - it looks
like the heat wave is going to continue...they recorded record highs here today!
Hope everyone is well...wish I could send some of this warmth your way....
For full results/picture of us suffering see....http://www.cascade-classic.org/