BC Bike Race Day 4

Day four was the longest stage of the week.  I was looking forward to this day.  Earls Cove to Sechelt.  We woke up in Powell River, had breakfast, and headed to a ferry terminal for the trip to Earls Cove.  Some guys rode on water taxis, some got to take seaplanes, but I was on the ferry.
When we arrived, our bikes were ready and the start line was a few steps from the ferry.  We immediately lined up and were facing a steep climb from the terminal up a paved hill.
When the gun went off, I was pleasantly suprised that the pace didnt seem too bad up the climb.  Suddenly the course made a right turn and the climb wasnt nearly as steep and I moved up a bit more.  We entered the doubletrack shortly after and I was close to the top 10 when we started descending.  I was really excited to be feeling good on what was supposed to be the hardest day.

On this first descent the guy I was following took a big spill on a slippery wooden bridge and I was on the front of the group.  I quickly got out of sight and was trying to catch the group ahead that I could see every now and then.  Through a creek crossing and out the other side, my rear tire was spraying stans everywhere.  Great.  Not 30 minutes into the longest stage and I have a flat.  I quickly stopped and put air in.  Riders were flying by.  I ride maybe another kilometer and it needs more air.  I put in a plug this time and some more air.  Now Im way down and people are passing that Ive never seen before.  I ride some more, and its flat again.  I put in a second plug and finish off my air.  This is a big problem as the day has just started and im out of CO2.  I start picking off as many rider as possible, but its really hard because this is "the ultimate singletrack experience" and that means I have to work by every person.  At one point I am off walking because everyone else is, and I can see walkers lined up one after another as far as I can see.

Through the first feed zone and its getting soft again.  I pass Yuki Saito of Ergon fixing a flat, but he doesnt have any air either.  I push on.  Its almost flat when I come upon one of the motorcycles helping another rider with a flat.  I stop and borrow his pump.  I dont know why I didnt just put in a tube, should have done that first thing instead of messing with it all day.  But its been holding, so I air it up and get going again.  Every time I stop, dozens of riders go back past me.  I ride for awhile longer until a gravel road section and it completely blows up.  I stop and put in a tube, but have no air.  Eventually the motorcycle patrol guy comes along again and I air it up and get going.  I must be into the 100's by now.  Its been a slow day.  Riders in this area arent really racing, as much as just enjoying the ride through BC.
I eventually make it to the finish line, on  a flat tire yet again.  Pretty frustrating day, as I felt great the whole time.  48th on the day, dropped me to 24th overall.  Worse, I lost 30-45 minutes to the guys I was riding with.  To top it off, I missed my massage by 20 minutes and had to take my bike to the shop to have them put on a new tire.  Long Nap was needed.

Results are Here.

More pics are here.

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