I was maxed out on the first climb, and with a little assistance from Craig we made it over the top in pretty good company with the 7-15th teams. After burning a few matches on the climb, I wasn't to keen on using my brakes on the descent. Had a good time, although some guy took a big time high speed wipeout next to Craig.
On the rolling gravel road, we worked super hard to stay in the group, and managed to do so until a double track climb... where unfortunately the whole group decided to go for a bonus climb again... doh!
Lost a bunch of time, but we all circled back and tried to fix our mistake. Since I'm being strung out just hanging in any climbs these days, it took a lot out of me. Fortunately right after we dipped into some technical singletrack, and the Kiwi's whom we rode much of the TT with were in front, and yielded in friendly fashion to see if "I could work some of my magic again" on the trail. How flattering. I did my best to oblige, knowing they'd power back up to me on the next open road.
We did the river crossings, which toasted my blister bandaid, then got on the open gravel road where we could see ahead some of the teams we had dropped earlier in the day. Our group came together again, and we were just gearing up to make some miles disappear, when Craig flatted. Bummer! We lost contact and started again on our own another 6 or 7 spots down, plus 7 or 8 minutes down from our group.
I tried to survive the second climb, but it was tough and demoralizing, as I couldn't close down the gap to the mixed team 30m ahead over a 45 minute climb. Later I found out she's a US single speed champ and a whole bunch of other impressive things.
I suffered over the top, and Craig I think read my quietness right - I just wanted to see the finish.
On the way down, Craig pulled for 30k, although we did catch Ryan Draper/Drew Simpson so Ryan helped out. Caught some Sobe guys who dropped us earlier in the day too, so we sprinted for the finish... turns out with the couple misadventures we came in 11th, although some huge time changes happened so who knows what the GC looks like.
Pat and Geoff I think were 5th, but I'm not 100% on that one. Pat said he had a rougher start.
We're all having fun. It's nice weather, today was warm-ish but also mercifully overcast. We're a well functioning team, which I can't say for everyone in our immediate vicinity. I'd say our two biggest effort days (day 2 and today) didn't have much to show for it at the end (Monday nullified, and the "reward" today was just not slipping into oblivion), so it'd be nice to have a big effort count more at some point. I'm pretty tired, and I'm trying to toe the line between pacing myself for the week and putting out efforts each day. I don't want to slip over the edge that I can't ever recover from, going downhill for the rest of the week is an ugly thing to have happen. We'll see!