I loaded my pockets with Clif gel shots with varying caffeine contents. I stuck with the caffeine free vanilla variety in the end though. I'd had enough java thanks to the generosity of the Edwards, Optum's host family in Anniston.
|The Edward's home, with Emma standing at the front|
Courteney, our Kiwi rider, cranked it away from the peloton around 10km into the slightly sub-100km race. Anna followed and the teamworked it over the rest of the course. Sometimes it looked like the girls in our pack were going to bring the break back. Especially at the beginning when the gap seemed to hold steady at a weak 15 seconds. Jade, Emma, and I waited patiently to counter attack if ever the break would be snuffed out. Anna and Courteney were strong and tenacious though. The time increased to 30", then 45", then 1'30", then...who knows. They were out of sight and we didn't get any other information on their lead from the race comissaire on the motorcycle.
We only had two girls up the road, the race was far from over, and we needed the entire podium painted in Optum Orange. With around 10 km to go, Jade attacked on a long uphill, The peloton thathad held on up until this point dragged her back. Then , BAM, I hammered my Look pedals, counter attacking. Nobody followed, they were blown from covering Jade's attack. I stayed away, solo time trialing to the finish to complete the podium for the day. Mission accomplished. Good teamwork!
|Foothills Road Race Podium. Courteny, Anna, and Lex|
We loaded into the team van and the Optum Acura TSX Sportwagon, heading straight for Little Rock, AK where we will stay over the next few days. Thanks to Rachel, Adrian, and Jeremy ( our DS, mechanic, and soigneur, respectively) for stopping at my favorite restaurant in the world, Chipotle, for supper on the road in Memphis, TN.