Halfway through with Arkansas, well that is days wise. Most of the kilometers and climbing is behind us, even though we have a 15km finishing climb tomorrow. It's pretty amazing the differences in this weeks even to last weeks NRC event. Such as in prize money, but also in like preparation, such as this week there are no start or finish barriers, nope just some good old fashion orange cones. Some of us like to run over these cones, and I think you know who you are.
The first two days have been decent. Yesterday was close to 180km with over 10.000 feet of climb as was brutal. It was fast race with lots of attacks for the first 120km. Maybe it wasn't super hard, but I wasn't feeling 100% either for some reason. Anyways, Clayton did awesome and ended up 5th in the sprint and Robbie was a hoss in doing some work and rotating at the front to help bring back the break. So a pretty good day.
Today we had two small climbs before the finishing climb up the steep Mt. Nebo. This thing had some sweet super steep switchbacks and is pretty narly. We drove it the night before and it looked crazy, but actually once we were going on it, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I started off pretty good with the leaders that quickly was down to 5, but loss contact in some of the steeper sections and loss a bit of spots. The top came quickly though as I was catching back up a bit after there was a drop in the gradient before the final pitch in last km. I think I just let up on myself a bit to much in the middle and lost some valuable time/places. Of course this is easy to say sitting comfortable on the couch. Well at least now I know and tomorrow is another day. Robbie and Clayton rode awesome again today and Clayton wouldn't go anywhere with out me. It's pretty awesome being my size and being able to ride behind someone that is well over 6' tall.
The race organization has been decent so far, and pretty good after the glitch of the caravan being directed the wrong way at the start of yesterday. Oh yeah at the 15 mile neutral roll out yesterday was a bit on the long side. It took us nearly 50mins to complete!
Also Big Willy has been stellar behind the wheel with the absence of J.W.
On a last note we are back in the hotel we are at 2 days ago and we started fairly hard on the cookies. It's amazing how once you are in a middle of a stage race, how much less guilt you feel about eating a cookie or two. It's great staying at LaQuinta hotel because unlike other hotels that will leave the light on for you, this one keeps the cookies coming out of the oven.