Pan-Am Cycling Championships Uraguay
If you didn't know I was going to Uruguay, it is probably because I didn't know either. At the last race in Venezuela, the Mexican team asked us (Amanda and me) if we were heading to Uruguay.
"Why?" we asked.
"That's where the Pan American Cycling Champs are being held next week!"
"What? But I scoured the UCI calendar, I didn't see any Pan Am Champs in Uruguay?!" Well, that was because the race was hiding in the men's calendar, not the women's, even though both genders can attend. I'm telling you, women's sports get the short end of the stick all too often. But whatever. Let's go to Uruguay!
Now that I represent SKN's national team (comprised of one person, me) I'm eligible for these North-Central-and-South American games. So, from Venezuela, WonderMinion and I hopped an eight-our red eye flight to Montevideo, Uruguay...the coolest little country tucked just below Brazil and to the right of Argentina. (It is autumn here, nice and cool). Montevideo is very pretty with tree-lined streets, ocean views, and old European influenced architecture. If you ever tour the great continent of South America, definitely put Santiago, Buenos Aires, Lima and Montevideo on your list. These places rock.
Pan Am race recap...well, it started out with the hectic hunt for a UCI legal uniform. See, my St. Kitts and Nevis kit was just finished being made, but the manufacturer (Champion Systems) is in Hong Kong. Not enough shipping time to get it to Uruguay. And my Sport Beans kits weren't legal...too many sponsor logos. So Amanda tracked down a neutral uniform which we borrowed from the owner of a bike store in Montevideo. Turns out, the guy was the 1999 World Champion in the time trial and he let me wear his kit. It was a little big and we had to duct tape the team name/logo, but it was better than cycling naked. So, a world champion's team uniform...you think that would transfer talent by osmosis, but alas, it did not. Despite cranking out one of my better 20K times (in a hellacious wind, may I add) of 30:01, it was only good enough for 14th place...out of 15. That hurt a lot. I am trying to remember that I am competing against the 15 best time trialists between Canada and Argentina, without my TT bike, aero helmet, and in men's clothing, but still. Ouch. The road race was better, but it was a large, tough field. Without teammates, I tried to stay as close as I could to the Americans (Tina Pic, Dotsie Bausch and Kori Seehoffer) but I was unable win points in this pack. I am a much better bike handler, though. That's for damn sure. I am trying my best.
On Tuesday, Amanda and I leave for El Salvador...I am exactly 1/2 way through my journey now. 9 races down, 9 to go. At least for this half, they're all in the same city. No more cross-continent flights and midnight bus rides. That should help.
I'm a little tired and homesick, but I know you're all behind me and it really helps. Thank you for your love and friendship.