Worked our way through a lot of the front field on the climb (we started at the back of the A pen as we were screwing around trying to find a pump).
I wasn't rocketing up climbs by any means, but I was making it up the majority of them without dabbing, and people were walking all over.
Trails were great, lots of singletrack. We actually took 4 wrong turns today, but none cost more than 2 mins I'd guess. We passed both Andreas Hestler and Tinker, so I should probably just quit racing now cause I'm sure that'll never happen again (Tinker's partner was cramping, Andreas was waiting for Plaxton but he was way ahead... oops). By about kilometer 50 of 60 we caught Wendy and Norm, which was a TR regular occurance at that point. Tried to rail the singletrack but she's so superior in the technical we couldn't open it up. Jon burped a lot of air out of his front tire on a mix up at one spot on the trail, so we had to stop and I gave him a CO2. We caught and passed the 4 teams that passed us in a couple mins by hammering the shit out of a stretch of gravel road.
Rode hard right to the end. Every pedal stroke all day had power, without a twinge of cramping. Instead of sitting in Jon's draft praying to get my hollow body to the end, I took some pulls. I do,kt even feel like I've worked hard, I've absorbed all kinds of recovery magic foods and feel great.
Last highlight of the day was getting a massage when I saw two race people walk into the finish area with 20 boxes of pizza. I jumped off the table to get my piece. I nearly lost a limb in the frenzy, they were gone in 60 seconds.
It feels so good to be a bike racer rather than a shell of one. On the hot direct sun climbs with no wind I could temperature regulate, vs the other days when I'd just slow to a crawl or pop since I felt like I was roasting alive. Everything I ate went to my quads in 12 minutes, no problems. Every burst on a hill I'd recover from one minute later rather than feeling I'd spent something I'd never get back.
Trish and Craig did good, Pat suffered like Pat hasn't suffered before - hyperventilating and sharp quad pains. Pat pushes so hard though and they only lost a couple minutes to their competitors, which is total coup for having a bad day.
I can't say enough about Jon's patience. He found ways to work and entertain himself last few days, and today was more of what we came for.