They always told me when I was a kid that the best part of Christmas was the waiting. Well that’s what stage race season has been like for me, apart from the fact that I haven’t enjoyed the waiting. To be honest, I never enjoyed waiting for Christmas either. It’s been a good year, with lots of racing and success but this month we have 2 stage races that I’ve really been looking forward to.
So having packed the motorhome, we hit the road for Leipzig. The Journey to Krasna Lipa was around 9 hours, so we broke the journey down into 2 bits. The first 7 hours to Leipzip, then a nice budget hotel. It was onto Krasna Lipa in one short trip to reduce the pain in the legs for the riders. For the staff it was a night in the camper. Now I tried to keep things simple and have a mechanic also called Stef with me. This made life easy for everyone to remember names, but the flip side was sharing a bed with him. It’s something you get used to on the road, but ‘Big Stef’ (This isn’t an ironic nickname by the way) can snore like no other man I know.
This snoring hit a peak at 5am, at which point I snapped and woke him up. I also woke everyone else. Now it wasn’t as bad as it sounds for Big Stef, as he fell straight to sleep. It was at this point that Ronny decided it would be a good idea to start talking and putting plans in place for day ahead. I finally got back to sleep, and we hit the road just after 9am for the short trip to our race hotel.
When you come out to Czech Republic for a race, you never quite know what your hotel will be like. I think the ‘Hanka effect’ has worked for us as we’ve been placed in a great hotel, in apartment rooms. We’ve got the Australian team for company so lots of understandable voices.
On arrival everyone had lunch, then relaxed while the bikes were prepared. A 2 hour spin on the course then started, while I completed the signing on formalities for the team. All the bikes were then race prepared, and vehicles cleaned from the journey. There must be a few million less insects in the world now given the devastation on the front of the camper.
The bikes were finished at 8pm, dinner was settled and the rider returned to their rooms for an early night. I sure we’ll have a couple of ‘medicinal brews’ and catch up with some of the staff from other teams that we haven’t seen for the best part of 2 months.
Tomorrow is the debut of Hanka for Horizon Fitness RT. We know what we have to do and fingers crossed we can put all of the hard work we’ve put in this year into practice.