El Gran Premio de Guatemala
Submitted by bega on Sun, 08/29/2010 - 10:32
so the race was supposed to go up to solola, but the road was washed out because of the storms the night before. so we showed up at the start around 9am not even knowing if we could race. valentine from telefonica was setting up the stage, the cops were talking about the roads, manuel for casa ciclista was stuck up in solola not able to get down the mountain.
as registration went on with the locales. we discussed all of the options. the clouds were building, and while it doesnt normally rain here until afternoon, we thought this would be the day the rain came in early and really spoiled the parade.
but when manuel arrived, he had the plan. we'd do a 4 lap circuit part way up to godinez with the finish at the start line back in town (couldnt do the whole way to godinez, it been washed out for weeks). with the race redesigned, speeches made, the guate pros all dressed up like euros, lola running the show at the finish, we got ready to race.
so instead of a lemans and then out of town, we got to do a neutral rolling start, with a full parade lap through downtown, and would get to come back into town at the end of each lap . really exciting for the locale spectators who came out in droves to support us. the parade lap was awsome with the big ass police truck leading us through.
back through the start and the race was launched. over the lower bridge and straight up hill. us gringos were immediately left behind by the pros, then the locals. then more would pass us on the way down. the best part were the tons of kids passing out water and cheering us on. the whole town stood still for almost 2 hours as we traversed the circuit. pana is out for us, they cant wait for the cmwc. 4 times around and your heartrate is through the roof. theres no recovery on the decent. its terrifying, and your heart jumps at every death defying turn. half the road is missing some places, and we had bikes going both ways. some parts of the climb were 6mph up and 50mph down. terrifying.
by the last lap, i couldnt even see anymore and my lungs were useless. but i struggled on to a roaring cheer when i reached the top the final time. i hammered the decent thinking i had it memorized, but nailed a speed bump without getting my wheel off the ground and flatted. luckily, i was just out of the final down hill turn, and rode it out. i came across the lower bridge the final time with valentine shouting my name on the pa system, and hundreds of locales lining the finish. i struggled not to crash, but im sure i was smiling. im not riding my bike for at least 2 days. oh, and it never rained.
btw, strom pushed a 50x19 fixie up the hill. had to foot drag his rear wheel to slow it down.