59.2km, 1,198m ascent
Someone who I didn't really respect as a sports nutrition expert told me not to drink coke after bike races once. I sort of get it, it's pure sugar. But that person had also never ridden a hot 5h and ft just how easily a body accepts a coke; plus there's plenty of time for more technically appropriate nutrition.
I drank 5 cokes yesterday. Only 250ml ones. But after everything has been a chore to get down and stay in, I wasn't second guessing what was working. I think the acidity had appeal. That and chicken fried rice were my recovery, about half a plate with ketchup and hot sauce.
I slept though the night - glorious. Tummy still not good, but didn't wake up at least. Glorious sleep on a wood slat bed (at first I thought it was plywood with a blanket over top but it's slats) isn't two things I'd usually put together. It was good if I lined my ribs up right.
Easy stage today. Half paved. ITT start to avoid pile ups on first downhill. I think I might go first as I'm last. I struggled on yesterday's downhill commute to the race start even though I love that stuff, my mind was a haze and I felt like Erik was this flicker of a candle in a shell of a body around me, it didn't feel like me. Hopefully I can feel more like me to appropriately dodge chicken trucks, tractors and motorbikes.
I'll ride easy to not tax myself, feel the need to still dig outbof the hole given the lack of nutrients last while. Last year Yuki said it took 2 months for him to get back to normal, and he was anemic after, his wife is a nutritionist and helped. I'm up early, start is later, and feeling good enough to actually do all my normal nutrition practice and gimmicks this morning which is good.
Side benefit of squatty potty on our floor is no lineups! Kate came down here to skip her lineup, opened the door, then went back upstairs saying she'd rather wait. I get it, I just wasn't aware there were sit toilets anywhere in the hotel, and beyond that I'm not sure I'd even do another flight of stairs for it especially last night!
Cory was looking rough this morning. I have him some electrolytes. Said he was going to have a slow day. Too bad but better now than in the real mountains.
Day 3 start. Beautiful. I feel like twenty bucks over zero yesterday.
After yesterday's penance, karma came back to Bakke in huge order. At the start line it's reverse rank order so I'm second. Downhill 13km and they give me the hole shot basically, or 2nd after Tanya. Come around first corner and there's 5 cows pointed right at me. Two corners later back hoe across the road. All of a sudden this is awesome and fun. I cyclocross dismount, run through a gravel pile and back on. It dawns on me this would be the best spot to have a go pro on. Rest of the descent is awesome fast and totally random. I have no gloves today, no camel bak, and feel free. The descent picks me up even more and I start feeling so good. Rest of the course is 60 km of mixed road and gravel, net down, rolly. Beautiful towns. We get to pedalling and I have juice. I think about coasting, then give up. After all the penance of yesterday, when I get a day like today I'm going to take it. Flying! Shady and cool. Breathing deep feels great instead of short breaths that feel pukey. It's funny, with the jersey dry, when I exhale the torso flaps on my ribs. Kids cheering. Adults say Namaste in such a peaceful therapeutic way. Little girls too. Little boys do it equivalent to kids at home yelling trick or treat but after sneaking 18 candies in already. People think it's neat probably when your first rather than last. It dawns on me that with a 20 min head start that I can hold off a lot of people feeling like this. I make that my goal. Maybe this would go for most improved rider ; )
Yuki passes after first aid station, just motoring. One Nepali on his wheel. Unfortunately his chain ends up breaking. Next is Gerard the ex TDF pro. Naryan.
Then paved roads, I could hold my own for a long time. Could see someone behind, closing on the hills. He comes up. Ajay! This is an awesome chance to observe. So he's the 47kg guy winning. Sure strong stomach is part of it, but he does have power. We were on dead flat pavement together and my legs were working. I'm gonna guess cruising altitude of 250W. But we sped up together and exchanged drafts. He doesn't give off much draft. But point of this is, he amped it up, and on dead flat pulled away. So let's say in fatigue maybe I crack at 300W here, and let's say he pushes slightly less air overall. But he's still putting out something like that amount of power... and he's 47kg. Amazing.
Couple more caught me by the end - Peter, another Nepali, Thomas. More would have caught by time. But great day!
Erik and Ajay. Great guy. Amazing power to weight! Bought two cokes at that shack for 70 rupees after. Karma paid me back today. Loving life.