Sunday, September 19, 2010

Racing in Laredo

After TxTough on Thursday night we decided to drive down 3 1/2 hrs on I-35 to Laredo, only a stone throw away from Mexico. On a regular basis you'd drive 3+hrs up to Dallas on I-35 but going South on I-35 is pretty sweet - no traffic and instead of DFW you end up (almost) in Mexico.

There was a race called Laredo International Cycling Classic and a few locals asked me to come down there and race. Basically it was Carlos and I vs. Mexico since Alcala & Co. showed up in full force. This was a non-sanction USAC event so you don't need a license to race. Sheri did the Women's race and finished 4th - that's what Jerry Bueno and I saw at least. The "officials" gave her 5th, though. Go figure...

It was raining the whole day and a half we were down there. Some roads around the city were partly flooded and the 3.5mile circuit (10 times for 35miles total) had a plenty of water on it. But nevertheless we started with maybe 15 guys in the Open race. After a few laps Carlos was up the road with Hugo Hector and another guy. I was stuck with Alcala and 3 other "amigos", although they were not really friendly...After I punctured in the pouring rain it took me 20minutes to catch back up with the four guys since they obviously hit the acceleration button after I was gone. None of the dudes would work with me so I just covered every single of their attacks until they realized they wouldn't go anywhere today. In the meantime, the 3rd guiy in Carlos' lead group flatted and I was convinced CV had the win in the bag for us.

In the final sprint for 3rd I was on the right wheel (Alcala) but we drifted a bit too far right and the giant finish banner along with the officials standing on the road(!) made it a bit unsafe so I ended up 4th. End they actually gave me fourth place, too :-) Hugo Hector ended up beating Carlos in a tight finish for 1st so we had to be content with the $600 for 2nd place. Still, a good day considering the conditions.

We stayed in a nice hotel in South Laredo, 100yards away from the Rio Grande and "The Bridge" - the border to Mexcio. The hotel "La Posada" is a good place to stay if you ever down there and their restaurant is inexpensive and has some good American & Mexican cuisine.

giant dragonfly caught on camera

view from hotel (note: the flag on the Mexican site is at least 5 times bigger than the US flag on the Texas site)

the issues in Mexico are headlining the news in the local papers

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