Reporting in From Tucson By James Weekes
After a long flight we arrived in Tucson Arizona almost 12:00 am their time which would be 3:00 am our time, Kathyrns boyfriend George collected us. After what felt like a cat nap the sun was up and so were we.
We had breakfast then assembled our bikes and we were off Kathryn, Reggie and me, we did a 1hr ride in the dessert, the air is so dry here it had me panting for breath with chest burns and coughing but about half way we started feeling better. The roads are beautiful to match the scenic cactus and mountains surrounding Tucson. We returned home and fine tuned our bikes for the race the next day and put our feet up for the remaining of the day.
Today started with a bang as we had a time trial at 8:20 to jump start the day.This course was a semi flat and straight course with the wind in our backs on the way out and a head wind on the return, which made it difficult on the return. The race order was me first then George followed by Reggie, Kathryn followed much later in the women category. All racers were 30 seconds apart at start on a 6.6 mile course out 3.3 miles and back. As all the athletes rode around warming up it was a joy to see bikes of all shapes, sizes and colours while I was riding around and amusing myself with the space age looking bikes untill it was time for me to get to the starting line.
I started out hard but soon found that I had too much difficulty processing the air and as a result struggled to finish the second half of the TT. While coughing and sneezing took the better of me that day. George was up and set off like a missile and caught 2 riders ahead of him but paid for it on the return as he used up too much energy too early, but he was able to hold on to his position. Reggie was out and gaining ground fast on the rider ahead of him and eventually passed him and held his own without much problem with this dry air, good job Reggie. After the men the women were up which meant Kathryn was at the starting block. she had a great ride and managed to stay up and away from her chaser, great job on this occasion the results were as follows
Day 2 - Criterium
This was a quite interesting race, especially more so because it was held on a go-cart track with hair pin turns and smooth slippery roads we all decided to race but played it safe so we hung back of the main field as many of the riders did, focusing on the race the following day. It was amazing to see some of these athletes let loose on this course taking the corners as if there is no tomorrow. Reggie and I got through the first half safe and I soon found I had much difficulty breathing so our race ended early while George kept going up until the final lap where he hit the canvas at the final turn just before the sprint. He got minor cuts and bruises but he’ll live, unable to race the next day but expecting a full recovery in a couple days. Kathryn also played it safe and finished safe, great job once more as we ended the day at a friends house celebrating his birthday. When, lo and behold we met some top world class Triathletes, namely, Chris McDonald, Samantha Maglone, Doug Friman, TJ Tollakson and Leanda Cave. Reggie took delight in as we were like paparatzi taking all these pictures with them.The night closed in on us as we then retired for the night.