Lech, Austria to St. Anton, Austria.
24.7km, 1899m ascent & 2040m descent. Looks reasonable, doesn't it? Well, I learned from 2013 that it is possible for 25km to take over 5hrs, so we didn't put any expectations on the day.
The route traversed along the famed Arlberg region which is known for its world-class skiing and started off with extremely steep trails that took us up to the summit of the Rüfikopf at 2,339 m elevation.
The day's second climb lead us up to Valfagehrjoch at 2,543 m elevation, and a brutally steep descent into the posh town of St. Anton.
it was another scorcher but we had an earlier start which helped. Moments out of the starting gate my stomach hurt again and persisted all day, gradually getting worse. Carries quad was tender but luckily she didn't go into cramp town again :) I thought the stage was stunning and loved it.
HIGHLIGHTS & LOWLIGHTS
- the stage had a long steady climb to warm up on. Congo line of people but my stomach was upset and I couldnt get a full breath of air so I just tried to just settle in.
- there were bits of shade along the way that made me close my eyes for a moment and just soak up with gratitude.
- thinking of Trent along the course and remembering when we were out there together in 2013.
- seeing two guys leap into a glacier lake to take a dip in the middle of the race. Message received. Cease the moment. Bravo!
- somewhat finding my climbing legs on the final ascent of the day for the first time since the race started. I remembered how much I love hills!
- the longest ever in the history of time last "1km" into the finish line that we thought would never end.
- having our guesthouse so close to the finish line we walked there in 2min.
Finishing the stage I didn't feel well in general. (Like many other participants from the heat) We got back to our guesthouse and I tried to massage my diaphram/stomach and figure out what was causing so much discomfort. I joined the crew at the pasta party but only managed to fill my plate, take a few bites and I took my plate outside where it was cooler and ate a bit more. I ended up just walking back to the guesthouse and stood in the ice cold shower. Carrie came an hour later and delivered an icebag for me to put on my head. It was sweet of her. I spent the rest of the night hydrating, resting and trying to massage my diaphram. Got to bed early and prayed for cooler weather & a new stomach.