The profile wasn't the only jarring change – the weather turned on a dime, as is wont in the thin mountain air. A 25-degree drop from the previous day meant riders were bundled up, breathing mist, and cramming down as much food as they could to battle the energy sapping cold. The roster, built primarily to contest the sprints coming in stages three and four, was in survival mode for most of the day. That didn't stop Kirsti Lay from riding near the front of the shattered race on the grinding climb to Daggett Summit. She finished 16th and the rest of the Rally Cycling flatlanders survived to fight for the sprints in Sacramento.
The feed zone makes for a delicate dance between peloton and soigneur. Riders must find their "swannie", carefully approach, and crisply grab a bottle, all while dodging 100 other women spread across the road, trying to do the same thing.