April 25, 2016 0 Comments
Heading into the Volta Ciclistica do Rio Grande do Sul was a total mystery. We had little information about the race other than how many days it lasted and we stepped onto the plane blindly. The one thing we knew was the weather, which decided to do a 180ᵒ turn after our first two days there. James Glasspool had done the race in 2015 so almost every sentence he said was, ‘Last year, we….’
The day before the race was insanely hot and humid. After arriving from Europe, this was a bit of a shock to the system. We set out for a couple of hours on the bike to stretch the legs and try to shake some of the jet lag, however, it did not all go according to plan. Without any phone reception or maps, we managed to find ourselves on a section of gravel road. When in a new country, this is generally not an uncommon occurrence. We normally navigate our way back to the hotel and enjoy the gravel roads as they are something different. Joonas Henttala was particularly happy as a recent cyclocross bike purchase made him feel like he knew what he was doing. This time however, the gravel got the better of us and after sweating it out while fixing two punctures, we looked like someone had thrown a bucket of water on us. One rider from an Argentinean team had decided to ride with us because he did not know the area and I’m pretty sure he had some huge regrets about that decision.
When a tour finishes, usually the riders go their separate ways as they take different flights back home. Since we were all heading back to Europe, we found ourselves waiting around together for the same flight the following evening, which meant we had about eight hours to kill. Some guys like to sleep for as long as possible. Some guys will head out to the local shops and usually buy shoes or electronic goods that they don’t need. We decided to walk the streets and head to the only place we could find that was open… a Carrefour Supermarket. Exciting stuff!
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