This will be my second Twilight and Karel's third. As a spectator, there are no words to possibly describe this race.
Our friend James, who is an amazing cyclist, posted this on Karel's FB. If you are a cyclist and race/ride with others I am sure you can agree with James:
"Karel, Good luck in Athens...do what I used to do...keep telling yourself, "It can't keep going this fast for the whole race, it will slow up soon..." :-)
If you only knew how fast this race was you would totally agree with that quote.
We will be in Athens tomorrow around mid-afternoon so that Karel can do the Computrainer event at 5:45pm (his heat of 8 cyclists). Although Karel is not a fan of the trainer, this unique event gives certain riders an advantage on Sat for the Twilight Crit by assigning them a higher number for the starting corral. It is really neat to watch 8 guys "race" on computrainers with TV's in front of them (and in the audience) to see who is winning. The Computrainer is set up to replicate the exact Twilight Course and it is just brutal to see these guys go all out on the computrainer. It is also really neat to see their power and HR. I will be sure to post pics.
Here's the info about the main event:
The main event of the Athens Twilight, features cyclists representing teams from all over the nation and the world. The men's criterium is a 80-km race around historic downtown Athens. The course start-finish is on Clayton Street at College Avenue. The 1 kilometer course runs clockwise on Clayton, Lumpkin, Washington and Thomas.
With $120,000 in prize money on the line for the USA CRITS Series, the Athens Twilight Criterium is dubbed the most insane criterium in the world. Don't miss a minute of the evenings events.
This event starts SpeedWeek for USA crits so Karel will be racing 6 (possibly 7) crits in 9 days. This weekend and next weekend is our "vacation" so we are really looking forward to getting away. We both look forward to Speedweek all year long...I can't believe it is finally here.
Karel has never finished the race before (most people don't) so he is hoping that this is the year that he doesn't get stuck behind a crash (like last year) and can get in a good position to stay in the race. With 150 starters and around 40-50 finishers, you get treated like a superstar regardless if you cross the finish line.
Karel's favorite part of the race last year was getting high-fives from spectators and getting congrats from people just because he stayed in a little longer than the last guy who didn't finish.
I will be doing the 5K race on Sat morning, followed by a bike in the hills of GA (YAY!!). Sunday I will do a long-ish run, probably followed by an easy bike with Karel.
On Sun afternoon we head to Roswell GA for Crit #2 which will be at 6pm at night.
Did I mention that the Athens Twilight Crit starts at 9pm?!?!!?!
CRAZY! Nothing like watching the top cyclists in the USA race for close to 2 hrs, with over 10,000 spectators.
*If you live in the Athens or Roswell area, let me know (email me). I'd love to meet up!
Here's the link for the Athens Twilight Crit