Day Two start of the Pierra Menta
After 28 kilometers, 9,000 feet of climbing and five+ hours of racing, all of Team America completed Day Two of the Pierra Menta. It was a brutally long stage that included some spectacular scenery, a couple of wicked downhills and one never-ending ridgeline traverse. Today, a couple of teams showed their experience, while a few others suffered from a second long day of racing.
Team America veterans Pete Swenson and Cary Smith hit their stride today and finished the stage in just over 4 hours, moving them up a few places in the overall standings to 44th. These guys are looking strong and I expect we’ll see more gains from them in the next two days. Brandon French and Jared Inouye, on the other hand, struggled a bit today and fell back to 93rd place, but still solidly in the middle of the pack. Jason McGowin and Brad LaRochelle are in 128th, both a bit humbled by the day’s stage, but still loving every minute of this crazy race.
On the women’s side, the two American teams seem to be pushing one another in a bit of friendly competition. Sari and Mona finished a few minutes ahead of Nina and Lnysay today and there’s now less than a minute separating the two teams in 8th and 9th place.
It was an especially good day for Sari. She spent all yesterday afternoon either in bed or in the bathroom fighting some kind of nasty stomach bug. She couldn’t seeem to keep any food down. At the start today she was ready to quit, but Mona gave her some encouragement and offered to carry her pack. That seemed to help and they soldiered on for the next couple of hours. Sometime midway through the stage, the two shared a Coke and that seemed to give them enough of a boost to finish the stage strong. Sari is still far from 100 percent, or even 50 percent, but she’s got some color now and is actually eating a bit. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that she’s on the mend and tomorrow she’ll feel even better.
Thanks for all your support!