The bad news: wearing the jersey pretty much marked me out of the race today. It was another case of faux-GC, where somehow everyone just watched what I was doing and seemed to ignore all the guys who were nominally behind in time, had full teams, and had a much better shot of placing.
We rode a good race though. Sam bridged into a big early move just before the first major climb, and I watched the other GC guys back in the field. The move was really big and not working too well, but with nearly every team represented it neutralized the race. I wound up doing a little chasing on the descent from the first climb just to keep the pace up, then Sam sat up out of the break to help. He came back right before the few miles of dirt road and KILLED it, basically single-handedly towing the field up to the move. He got lots of compliments from the chuckleheads in the field.
Going into the final climb it was all together and I marked a few moves on the lower slopes. Over the first summit Driscoll attacked and one of his teammates and Vaillancourt, both on his wheel, threw out the parachutes. Somehow no one else in the 30-40 man field wanted to do anything, so I wound up having to chase on the flat/descent going into the final 5km climb. Again, a case of everyone watching the race ride away from them just because of the dumb jersey. I actually had a gap for a mile or so because guys were racing so negatively they let me ride right off, but it wasn't enough to stick and I was wasting energy in no-man's land.
I wasn't feeling stellar at that point and didn't particularly fancy my chances on the steep, pitchy final climb. I definitely didn't give up and ride it in, but just paced it all the way to the top and focused on limiting my losses more than on trying to follow accelerations.
No results yet, but I definitely lost the jersey and fell pretty significantly on GC. Obviously not psyched about that, but I could see it coming, and we rode a very solid, respectable race in defense of the lead. I'll look over the results and figure out whether it's worth going for time bonuses in tomorrow's crit to move up on GC. If so, there are three time bonus sprints plus the finish, altogether worth around 40sec. If the overall is well set I'll just go for the stage and primes. Regardless, after two podiums, a day in yellow, and making it through today without crashing, I can come away satisfied with the weekend.