Grant may have lied a little to Tom Sunday morning when they prepared to go out for a "easy recovery ride." Grant had promised Tom a easy 2-3 days of recovery after their exhausting race week. Little did Tom know, he was just one of nearly 400 people in what could only be described as the "Grant Fondo" Sunday extravaganza :)
The guys showed up at 8:29am just in time to roll out with the group that left at 8:30 on the dot. Not exactly enough time for a warm-up. The group hit full throttle out of the gate, and let's face it, most group rides are races without the need to pin on numbers. Grant screamed at Tom after the first turn to grab his wheel and hold on. No sense in letting someone else chase the front group down :) 96km at an average speed of 27 mph on far from flat terrain.
First to finish was the Russian National Champion, second was Austrian Olympic Contender, followed by a crazy strong eastern European rider, fourth was the Austrian National Champion, and 5th was Grant Potter.
Tom was a little less than happy to have this kind of surprise morning, on top of the fact that it was 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F). He dropped back into the chase group about 65k into the ride. These guys may be in a slightly different fitness level. Overall the ride was successful, no one got hurt and it was a good way to get to know some of the racers after the intense competitive week before. The guys will try to get some rest I the motor home, but not sure how well that will go seeing as they don't have A/C, nor is there A/C just about anywhere in that town!