Ahhh, yes. The Keystone stage. While on paper, this doesn't look that bad....in my opinion, it is the hardest stage in the race. This is my 3 time on this loop racing it. Every time, it has been a struggle. The course is a constant up and down....very little recovery. The climbs are the steepest of the week. The flats are not flat. The downhills are littered with rocks the size of softballs and basketballs. You basically have to get into 'your' pace and stick to it....all day.
My race today did not go anything like the first 2 days. Struggled the second we hit the dirt. The fatigue from the first 2 days caught up with me. I was struggling to get my butt up the hills. Was also fighting the bike on the downhills.....over shooting corners....breaking when not needed.....etc, etc, etc.
I spent almost all day riding solo. Few moments were shared with friend and training partner, Jonathan Davis. Other than that, alone. All day. Struggling to turn the cranks over. My field was in front of me. I rode in 4th place all day to try to minimize time loss to the 4th place GC. Going into today, I had an 8 minute buffer. Today, I lost 10 minutes to Christian who rode strong the last 2 days. This bumped me off the podium for the overall. Bummed? Sure, who wouldn't be. But it was a fantastic 3 days of healthy competitive racing! Some of the most intense racing I have been apart of since moving to Colorado.
Here is today's HR and GPS data via Strava.