Start: windstopper base layer, heavy arm warmers, regular short sleeve jersey, thermal short sleeve jersey, rain vest, thermal shorts, heavy knee warmers, thin gloves inside of race gloves, thermal socks, rain shoe covers.
First descent: add rain jacket and eventually a cycling cap.
Second descent: add second rain jacket, trade thin gloves for neoprene gloves. These were life savers because I was freezing. Even with them, I was still cold, but I could at least function.
Finish: everything listed above. It isn't very often you do the final climb of a race at full gas with all those clothes and not sweat to death, but I did it today!
I really can't explain the race much better than that. It was cold, windy, rainy, sometimes slushy/snowy, and it was a huge mental and physical battle to stay in the race. I hate the feeling of quitting a race, and honestly it is almost as bad to have a race cancelled or cut short, but today was miserable. It was so cold on top of the second climb, near freezing. I am happy to have stayed in the front group with what I think were good sensations in my legs, although it is hard to tell given the numbness throughout my body. I am happy to live to fight another day, too, given the attrition rate today. I am guessing something like 30% of the field stopped. I hope the weather will clear out for the coming days now because it seems to me that today's stage should earn us a free pass for quite awhile now! Yikes, time to rest up.