First off if you want the coles notes version of the trip I refer you to Cody Cannings blog Also known as Roddi Redux, in a star wars-Luke Skywalker-a new hope context.
Moving pretty slow still today, this may take a while. But lets get started.
Trip down was good, early morning Wednesday met the team post customs, everyone seemed to be excited and ready to rock. We had a Dh'er with us just to balance things out, Downhill Rob(fraser) he was henceforth called. Quick stop in Miami where apparently they missed an entire luggage cart of our gear. When we arrived in Guatemala city, most people had their bikes but no bag, I was left traveling light with only my backpack. But Dan was on it and made sure we had all our stuff arrive in the evening.
Thursday- Boarded a bus early to the venue, the bus in front of us ran out of gas, and in what would never be allowed in North American I think we had about 100 people on our coach bus, good times. Set up our Team Canada pit area, and headed out to ride the course, right away I felt like I was riding at Hardwood on Suzy Saunter, fast flowing singletrack super hardpacked. Or an Simcoe country forest. Started out with the boys but Raph had a good crash and finished off the lap with him. Lunch at the Venue, good music good food, kinda felt like a vacation Back to the hotel along with the armed guards and police escorts.
Friday, with some races going on at the venue and trying to keep a low stress atmosphere we headed out for an easy ride around the city, well some of the quieter parts of the city which Dan re-coned earlier. Nice ride, with some good conversation to keep us distracted from the random gutter fires. Grocery trip, then max chillage as Ricky would say, pretty much went stir crazy with nothing to do. Roddi Redux was inspired by Steve on 90210 and got Scotty to work his magic.
Saturday- Day of Focus, good bus ride out to the venue, Con(with in Spanish) Rob Jones of Canadian Cyclist. Final tune up on the course, did some race pace sections, not a full lap. My legs were feeling good, but my HR was about 15-20 beats higher at endurance and my breathing rate was high. I think it was a combo heat, and a touch of altitude. Finished off with some electrolyte drink,
Good sleep, roomed with Max and D-rock so we were in bed early, while I believe the Juniors were having some WWF type wrestling tournaments.
Boom-bam race day. I know what your thinking, just bookmark it here get a nice cold bevy, think of this as intermission........
K, the race, Arrived got all set up and kitted up, and warmed up on the cobblestone road. Warm-up started not great but by the end I felt like I had some legs under me.
Got called up front row, in between Schultz and Wells, Start was narrow and fast, I left the door open for Max going into the rooty decent, he was second row on the start. A decision that, in a Benjamin Button sense, led to his crash. I was on his wheel, going into a left hander on a fire road that had this crossfit-esque balance beams right in the middle which left two lines wide or cut it tight. Max followed the wheel wide in front of him, I thought it was getting a little crowded on that side cut tight and sure enough the guy slides out, and left Max nowhere to go but try to bunny hop his bike. That was the last I saw of Max for a while.
Got into the Derek, Shultz, JHK, couple random south americans group. I was content to just sit in for the first lap. The pace seemed to be easy but, The heat was rising and I was ok with that.
Laps are a bit of a blur, but I settled into a nice pace and we began to shed riders, pretty soon it was Derek, Sam and myself. We were getting some splits that the leaders weren't to far up, especially 3rd, but I was started to feel the race and wasn't going to try to be a hero. Sam I think was playing a bit of team anyways trying to kept Derek and I from getting together at the front. I think Wells was safe in the top 2. Heard a rider trucking it up from behind turned to see a big maple leaf coming up fast. Max was back and for a brief time there was three of us in a train, would have made for a good pic. Once he got by our group he was gone.
5th of 6 laps, left us battling for 5th. An Argentinian was really messing with the rythem of the group, he'd attack, then pull off and freewheel, why I'm not really sure. But at the top of the climb I took an inside multi-line and attacked onto the cobble road, and kept it smooth and fast on the decent to get a gap on Sam, Derek and the Argentinian. Had no idea if I'd be able to hold that for another 24 minutes but I figured it could put Derek in a good spot if i blew up and Sam chased me.
I was able to hold onto that gap for the 6th lap and crossed over in 5th. very happy with that, lets see if i can embed this video for you, my first Rob Jones interview and im hackin up a lung awesome. Plus full hand talking, ">
The whole team did awesome, Max 3rd, Derek 7th, Raph 12, Mikaela was second in u-23 women, Mical 5th as well in the womens race, Amanda 7th,
u-23's Cody was 12th, and juice who had some bad stomach problems and got attacked by a jaguar and crashed on the cobble's got up to finish.
Post race was rough, after typing up that quick post and a couple e-mails I was upchucking everything and anything, the 8-10 hours after that was me curled up into a ball trying to keep water down. Pretty sure it was just a bad case of heat stroke. Didn't make for a pleasent evening, but in the morning I felt better not great but good enough to travel. Trip home was good, no problems, just crappy flying when you feel well crappy.
a lot more to tell, but i need a break now, buy me a coffee and I'll exchange with good stories.
Again, can't say thank you enough to the Staff, they were great, a great trip all around. 132 lbs this morning new record low(for the past 15 years), I think I can see every muscle fiber in my legs, so ill be spending the next couple days drinking and eating.