Since my last report was all about good results, I'm pleased to report that I've successfully broken that streak with the Panoche Valley Road Race. In summary, it was terrible in an epic way.
I won the Calaveras TT on Saturday, then stayed out way too late at a BBQ on Saturday night (read: I got to bed at 3am). Three hours later, I woke up, ate, packed, got picked up by my teammate John Marshall, and went to Panoche. It was an experiment in lack of recovery, so to speak.
It took only ten minutes for our race to go from social to holy-hell vicious attacks. To put it mildly, my body was not happy. The strong tailwind exacerbated said unhappiness by somewhat nullifying the benefit of drafting. Things came back together just in time for the move that would put me in, as Phil Liggett would say, "a spot of trouble". We hit a bend that transformed the tailwind into a crosswind. Riders (who apparently knew the course) went to the front and guttered the entire field to string it out... right before turning left onto a very significant climb. I was shelled so fast it was almost funny.
It took a good half of the race to start feeling normal. Unfortunately, the second half of this out-and-back course turned the strong tailwind into an especially vicious, unrelenting headwind. The whole way back. Thank god I found people to ride with, some of whom I'd shed as I got more into my time trial mode. But even working together, it seemingly took forever to get home. The "10k to go" and "5k to go" signs felt hours apart. When I finally crossed the line, I was 23rd out of 35, and completely and utterly depleted.