Today Mike and I moved hotels from Russellville, Arkansas, to Fort Smith, the site of the last two stages of the race. We had pretty plush digs in Russellville, but moved on to our complimentary hotel room courtesy of the Tour of Arkansas director, not bad when all we had to do was ask.
We have been spending some serious time in the hotel room post-race, doing a whole lot of nothing. Yesterday we took a nap (in separate beds thanks), and walked a cross the street for dinner. That is literally all that we did after the race. I think it's the most drained I've ever been after a bike race. Today we've been a bit more active and scrapped the nap time, but we're still hurting pretty good.
So about that bike race.
That's a picture of the profile from the race bible, not terribly hard overall, but you can see the tough spots for sure.
There was a lot more racing and attacking on the flats today than I expected, but Team Type 1 didn't really kill it on the front on the climbs, so we didn't really drop too many people before the last climb. Nick Reistad gave me a heads up on how the last climb would play out and he wasn't lying. Whole teams were going to the front and killing it for the last 5 miles before the climb, and leading out their climbers to the base of the hill, it was pretty chaotic once we hit the bottom. The best climbers smashed it from the first up-slope, but I tried to gauge my effort so I wouldn't blow up and have to walk the bike. I kept the leaders in sight for a good 2/3rds of the climb, but hit the wall pretty hard and it was all I could do to keep the pedals going over for the last part of the climb. I'm not really sure where this put me placing wise, but I'm guessing somewhere in the 30's, a couple minutes behind the super climbers. There were no real groups on the road, just shrapnel of what used to be the peleton. Someone even said the cars were having a tough time making the tight switchbacks near the top. Once I got to the top, I was able to feast of hundreds of Snickers and Milky Way Mini's. That was about the best thing I could think of to have waiting for me after a climb like that and 100 miles of racing.
Now as I sit here in my free hotel room, attempting to recover, I feel pretty decent. I don't think my body is a wrecked as it was after yesterday's stage, and tomorrow's profile doesn't look terrible. Tomorrow does have another mountain top finish, atop Mt. Magazine, Arkansas highest point. Hopefully I can put together one good effort to hang on with a good bunch and eek out a good result. Either way, after these last two weeks of racing I think I'll be rollin' once I get some solid recovery in my legs.
Alright, off to put the legs up for a bit.
Thanks for reading.