Last weekend we travelled from Asheville to Alabama and stayed in a sweet host home! We have been so fortunate to be put up by lovely families this season. Last Saturday we raced the Sunny King Crit, the 2nd NCC of the season. The winning break formed in the second half of the race which included Jade, Annie and I along with Erica Allar and Laura Van Gilder; two very reputable and experienced sprinters. Annie and I attacked and countered hard for the rest of the race making Erica and Laura work to set Jade up for the sprint. Jade only just missed out on the top step and all of us finished in the top 10, so we picked up some nice dosh that night! My family were able to watch the live stream on the internet which was nice (not sure they quite understood the tactics involved as my brother questioned why I didn't sprint my team mate for 4th after our lead out!) Sleeping after evening crit races is always a challenge. Racing is fast from the off so you have to be so fired up from the off which is when caffeine gels/ shots come in handy. The problems arise when trying to sleep later on. I lay there knackered but totally wide away listening to the grandfather clock downstairs chiming away to remind myself I am still awake and had to be up at 6am for the next race!
The following morning we contested the Foothills road race. A team 1,2,3 demonstrated our strong cohesion. Courteney and Anna attacked on the first climb and powered away giving the rest of us a cruisier time sitting in the bunch whilst we watched their gap grow. Lex soloed away with 10k to go making it a clean sweep of yellow shoes on the podium! We were then whisked into the van sans showering and drove to Arkansas, thank god for baby wipes! Spirits were lifted stopping off at Chipotle for supper. This is a fab Mexican chain, fast but fresh and healthy too. We stayed with a great host family on a farm for 2 nights to break up the journey to Fayetteville. Slight downsize in accommodation; from the mansion in Alabama to an RV! We got a taste for what life was like before the days of internet too!
The following day we hung out at the Orbea factory in Little Rock. It was great to see where everything happens and meet the people behind our very generous sponsorship deal. We got to sample the renowned Southern US Bar–B-Q as they put on a delicious array of meat for us. We had a fun photo shoot in their studio too showing off our new compression clothing. From Little Rock we drove to Fayetteville which is where we are staying for the Joe Martin stage race which begins tomorrow. The team has taken over 4 houses on the same street. It is really nice to have my own bed and bedroom; I even took my clothes out of my suitcase and put them in a chest of drawers just because I could!
Sounds like we are experiencing the similar weather patterns to the UK at the mo, cloudless skies, 85deg heat! Hard times though resting up for a race when you want to sunbathe but can’t for fear of dehydration!