This was a much awaited race for me, as I'm sure it was for everyone else. But after last week's practice of abstinence from training I didn't know what to expect.
The whole race was a blur for me. Attack after attack went off the front as the peloton chased every one of them down. Gel after gel went by as the laps flew away. A mixture between the underestimated effect of the Sun & poor decision making by the moto officials is what ultimately ended my race.
The deceivingly hot temperature beat my body into the beginning stages of dehydration towards the latter half of the race. I sipped and conserved what was left in the only two bottles I had for the entire 60 miles but it wasn't enough. Not even close. I guess I first started to feel the dull muscle cramping from evident dehydration with about 2 laps (20mi) to go. I wrote it off and focused on the race.
Halfway through our last lap the moto officials stopped us in the middle of a moderate climb to let the Pro race fly past us. 5min later we began the climb without hesitation of speedy pace. This is when my body began to shut down, entirely. No more than a minute later my right hamstring went and I was forced to stop, yell in pain, stretch and regain composure. I climbed my way back on the bike only to be stopped 200m later by a sharp cramp in my left calf, then my quad. My body wasn't having it. It was done for the day.
I hitched a ride with a wheel car back to check-in. It was a tough experience to swallow. I'm kicking myself right now about it. "Bring more water next time." Another learning experience to throw in the bag.