Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You know it’s race season when…

Doping control comes to visit you twice in 14hrs for samples!

I’m now sitting in a house way up in the mountains of Santiago, Chile. The 7 member Pan American team flew into Chile this morning. 3 hrs after arriving at the airport and a $200 fine later for Matt who forgot to declare a bag of raisons we were packed into minivans and headed out of the city smog and into the mountains.

UP, up, up we climbed until we reached over 3000 m of elevation on a road that became more and more winding with each Kilometre. About 40 switchbacks later we turned onto gravel and bridged many water bars in our rentals vehicles with only a couple scraping noises to find our accomodations!

We moved into our cozy home complete with our care takers Cathy y Alexis that will cook and clean for us. The only catch is they only speak Spanish which just means I get to practice lots! The cabin is a ski in and ski out in winter and could be right out of Switzerland. There’s barely a tree in sight, just lots of mountains.

It felt great to get out the bike, until we started climbing…which was one of our two options. Up or down. The air was definitely thin and the legs feeling a bit sluggish, but it’s day 1 and we are in shorts!

Tomorrow we’ll descend back down 20km of switch backs to about 1200m and the race venue.

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