That being said, this is a hard race, and it certainly is not enjoyable at all times! But it's feels great to really work hard day in and day out and have an awesome team (Ebert, Bret, and Alex are the shiz) and survive day to day. Considering the field has already dropped over 80 riders from the race due to DNF's and time cuts, that's no small feat.
Today's stage 5 was a bit easier...except for the nervous 1 hour start where attack after attack went down. I wanted to make sure that nothing got away with another U23 rider in the move, so Alex and I stayed at the front and really went with everything all morning long. It was hard, but it paid off--a small break of 3 riders eventually got away, with no one high on GC or U23 classification in the move. Then, Rite Aid and CRCA chased the rest of the day giving us a nice, relatively chill 106 mile ride to the finish.
Now the sprint today--let's just say that I wish I had an 11t cassette on! It was pretty sketchy and downhill and fast. I just wanted to stay safe, so I rode at the front of the field and came into the last corner near the front. Turns out everyone was gassed for the actual sprint, and I ended up coming in the top 10 on the stage...a nice surprise. The best news was defending the U23 jersey and not giving any time away on the stage.
As a side note--I dropped a musette bag today, and Alex was a true teammate and snagged TWO bags in the feed zone, one for himself and one for me. Thanks dude.
Alex, the stud, and myself at the start of stage 5.