The team's strategy for the day went mostly according to plan. Kirsti Lay and Kelly Catlin were protected, and kept fresh for the final climb to the finish in South Lake Tahoe. Both riders, along with Emma White, charged to the line near the sharp end of the race, with Kirsti clearing the 200 meter banners sitting in the top five. The altitude had taken a significant energy toll, and she faded back for a still impressive 11th place finish. Catlin, literally three days removed from finals at the University of Minnesota, finished 21st, and White came across on her wheel in 22nd.
Bike racing in California is always spectacular, but a Lake Tahoe course sets a new standard in the beauty department. The opening stage of the women's race encompassed one entire trip around the lake, which might not sound like much to us used to "lakes". But Lake Tahoe is more than just a lake. It is a truly imposing body of water, containing 36.15 cubic miles (!) of fresh water. "A trip around the lake" means over 50 miles of undulating, high altitude roads.