Today's stage from Copper Mountain to Aspen had us tackle the infamous Independence Pass for the first of two times. Prior to that though, we had plenty of climbing starting from the gun with Fremont Pass. I tried to get into the breakaway and paid for it. After only one or two efforts, I was already feeling my legs and lungs quite a bit. Before the top of the pass, I had lost contact with the peloton. I had a whole gambit of emotions going through me at that point: pain, frustration, embarrassment, anger were a few. I kept fighting to stay close and after an acceleration near the top I was able to regain contact. More than a little frazzled physically and mentally, I tried to gather myself and focus to try and help the team as best I could. Eventually we arrived at the beginnings of Independence Pass and I committed myself to try and help protect Julien and Julian. It was quite windy and a real dog fight to be at the front. Around 6km from the top the efforts caught up with me and my legs went flat. I suffered to the top and then took the long descent down to Aspen as easy as possible, surveying what I will climb up tomorrow from the gun. Certainly I'm nervous about the start, but all I can do is try! Notable highlight for the team today was Laurent snagging the most aggressive riders jersey for his efforts in the breakaway. That's all!