First stop off the airplane – the bathroom. How do you even
flush this thing? I pressed one of the buttons and got some fake toilet flushing noise. After examining the contraption for a good thirty seconds, I found the handle hiding behind the lid. Then I spent another thirty seconds trying to take a picture of it. Sorry for the hold up, girls!
So apparently this race was a really, really, really big deal on Chongming Island. The billboard below was one of many. The shops all had race posters in their windows, the entire island had been decorated in colorful banners just for us, and the crowds were impressive. The government may have ordered them to watch, but still…
We arrived at the hotel after over 24 hours of travel. I flew from Orlando to Minneapolis to Tokyo and finally to Shanghai.
Originally the elevator doors read “welcome go home,” but someone wised up and changed it before I could get a picture.
Out for an easy ride the day before the race. When riding with the team, I sometimes forget I’m on the other side of the world.
The dining hall with Andrea and Lindsay.
The mullet sighting. Between the mullet and their team mechanic stealing another team’s set of race wheels (everything’s on camera in China, dude – how did you think you could get away with that?), the Ukrainians get the extra-race press award.
Tonight we have a selection of…
Another option: the KFC a couple doors down from the hotel. Unfortunately it was very much the Chinesed version.
Our hotel was in the shopping district, so I went out to explore and get gifts for friends. Check this out! They rang me up on a frickin’ abacus at the grocery store. To hell with looking like a tourist. I HAD to get a picture of that one.
OK, so I suppose you want to hear about the races. Even though we were in China, they were very similar to the European races because a lot of the same contenders were there. Coryn, our sprinter, lost time when she crashed with 4k to go on the first stage of the Tour. We spent the next two days trying to get Lauren Tamayo bonus time on the sprints. She ended up in 7th place in the GC.
The start of a stage.
The World Cup started out a little rough for me when I crashed about 20k in. I was trying to move up in the gutter on the left side of the bunch when the girl in front of me did this acrobatic sideways arch of her body to clear a bush that was growing out into the road. BAM! The bush took out my whole left side. I knew immediately it was a pretty funny crash. My bike was alright, I was alright, and I had just ridden strait into a bush on a road in China. ha.
I paced back on easily. We did a leadout for Coryn in the finish, but were only able to pull off 19th place. I must say I’m learning a lot, and I can’t wait for Tulsa Tough here in a few weeks. It’ll be my first big race in the States this year.