Since part of our staff works remotely from Richmond, VA, we jumped at the chance to head down south to watch the UCI Road World Championships last weekend.
Although the beginning of the week brought gorgeous weather in the mid-upper 70s for the time trials, the weekend was a little rough. Rain clouds loomed all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, providing a moody backdrop for the championship races.
Residents from all over the world stormed the small city, making for congestion, bad traffic and long wait times at restaurants; but spirits and energy were both high at the races. The championship course began in historic Church Hill and went all the way up to the top of the Fan… if you’re unfamiliar with the charming metropolis that is Richmond, The Fan is basically the beginning of the actual metropolitan area and Church Hill is the end. The city is small, though, so these neighborhoods are only about 4 - 5 miles apart, and the course loop was about 10 miles.
The Elite Women looped the course 8 times, and the Elite Men a whopping 16. We think the furthest any us have ever biked was about 30 miles, and - we can tell you - it's not easy. We can’t imagine racing 80 miles, let alone 160! It was absolutely incredible.
This was the biggest road bike race any of us had attended, and - let me tell you - watching dozens of people so close together going 40 mph on bicycles in really nerve wracking. Watching them turn is downright terrifying. The sheer amount of athleticism we witnessed this past weekend was awe inspiring. I personally was inclined to hop on my little Trek 1.1 WSD and ride about 25 miles Monday morning. It was not easy. But there’s something so unique about cycling.. the wind in your hair, the oneness you experience between man and machine. It’s really a beautiful sport. Definitely something everyone at the Bear offices is interested in getting into.
American Megan Gaurnier finished 3rd in the Women’s Elite division, and in turn qualified for the Rio Olympics!! No men from the US placed in the Elite division, but the seriously loveable Peter Sagan of Slovakia took home the gold.
Overall, even though the weather was sticky and overcast, the race was a total success, and we had a blast. Can’t wait until the next big sporting event on the east coast - we’ll definitely be attending.