Alta Alpina 8-Pass double century (20,500 vertical feet) was going swimmingly with outstanding cool conditions. I was in 2nd place with a substantial lead, and based on start times (I checked upon return), only 5-10 minutes behind 1st place—and that was after the trouble started which suddenly impaired my pace about half way up Ebbetts in a major way ( I dropped/passed everyone but the leader).
My stomach went south. The day before, my stomach had been bloated like a beer-drinking slob (no idea why) and the morning of the race too. I thought I could ride through it, and I did for about 150 miles and 14000 vertical feet. But it turned into a sharp right side abdominal pain and a queasy stomach that did not like food inputs, though I forced down Hammer HEED and some licorice, but my feeling was that the stomach had just shut down, so nothing worked. Power plummeted drastically and I thought I might crash descending Ebbetts such was my distress. I rested 20 minutes at the rest stop at the base of Monitor, then tried going up, but it was game over—had to bail just before the climb up Monitor Pass. Even getting back was on pathetic impulse power.
In the end I did 165 miles and just over 14,000 vertical. It was a solid ride, but it just feels like failure—I detest quitting any race. But I was in such a condition I deemed it stupid to proceed. Most frustrating is not knowing the bloating trigger.