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Liz Cabot Allen TSE Stage 4 Blog

Posted by: Matt Williams |July 29, 2014 12:24 AM

Stage 4: Hump Day Road Race

Written By: Liz Chabot Allen

Despite today’s stage being the one I was looking forward to the least, it wasn’t all that bad. I was actually grateful towards the end of the course to see that there were only roads left.

The rain we’d gotten yesterday carried over into the morning, and we knew we’d be facing some sloppy conditions out there. Of course, if we were going to have to deal with a rainy race day, today was probably the best for it. 

Instead of racing on the Kona, I went with the hard-tail today because there were going to be a lot of

roads, the course was going to be muddy and destructive, and my butt needed to be in a different saddle. I’m glad I made that choice (even if the 1x10 was a little rough for some of the climbs).

The race started off way too fast for my liking, and I decided to just settle into a pace that felt kind of awful but wouldn’t destroy me. I knew I’d have to grab a wheel and do some drafting, but I was having a tough time finding a group that wasn’t going harder than I could handle at the start. 

Let me just say that I think breakfast was weighing me down.

(Breakfast is served at 7:30 and the stage started at 9:30.)

It took me awhile to come around, and I watched a lot of people pull away from me. 

Somewhere around halfway, I met up with Ellen, and after that, we spent a good portion of the race together. Despite suffering, we kept each other motivated, and as we made our way up the long climb out of the valley, I thought I spotted one of her U25 competitors in the distance. I told her she had 8 miles left, that she was riding strong, and to keep it up and race smart to the finish.

And holy shit. That’s just what she did! She dropped me like a bad habit and kicked some serious butt to the finish line!  (Nice work, Ellen!!!)

Ellen and I both spent some time with one of the male duo teams (Mike and Rory – spelling??) who took some pulls for us and followed our wheels as well (they were both on singlespeeds). 


There were a few notable moments of today’s stage…

1.     The fire-road enduro segment that went on forever and ever.  I almost ate shit but somehow stayed upright, and by the time I got to the check-out station, I was completely incapable of picking a line. 

2.     Ye olde train tunnel. This thing was dark, wet, and AWESOME.  There are pictures of it on the internet somewhere.  It was so cool, and there were some super rad supporters there handing out ‘recovery beverages.’

3.     The final long climb of the day. This didn’t look like much on the elevation profile, but let me just say, that shit was WHACK!!! I seriously came close to crying as turn after turn of this slimy, peanut-butter-coated climb brought more and more elevation into my line of vision. Early on in the climb, there was a pickup truck sitting on the side of the trail with two shirtless men who informed me that I was about halfway up the climb.  They lied.  They lied SO HARD.


I’m really glad that stage is behind me, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s "primitive” terrain.

Results: 8th place for today’s stage and 5th for today’s enduro segments. 10th in the overall GC and 6th in the overall GC for enduro. There were no east coast rocks segments yesterday or today. 

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