Breck Epic Day 6

So that's it done- 6 tough days of racing.
I'd been looking forward to a relaxed social ride today but instead got a bit of a shock. My fast time for yesterday meant that I was grouped to set off in a wave with the real racing snakes- state and national champions and suchlike. They were out for a 2-3hr race and it was an aggressive xc start if ever I saw one. Straight up a steep, rooty trail, I felt under a lot of pressure to keep riding over each step-up, so I wouldn't cause anyone behind me to come off. Eventually, I'd used up all my oxygen and bumped off on a root, much to the annoyance of one of the racers behind me, who voiced her displeasure and made sure everyone around her knew she would have been riding that otherwise. Clearly those 3 seconds were very precious to her over the 6 days of racing!
I let as many people past as I could on that first climb and then settled into a pace for the rest of the day, which was a much shorter stage with lots of fire road up and down. Not my favourite stage but maybe I am being hard on it because my whole body was feeling really tired and the downhills were pretty rough on my arms.

This event was much tougher than any stage race I've done before. I really, really loved the two big mountain days but they certainly take it out of you and there was an awful lot of slogging the rest of the week, even if we were rewarded with miles of beautiful flow trails and whizzy downhills. I think I will be hanging my bike up for at least a week now. And I need some serious caffeine to be able to stay awake for the party tonight.


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