Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Opening Ceremony

The plan for today was an hour ride around Boquete, then a little walk around town to kill some time, lunch and then drive to David City for the opening ceremony, technical meeting and team presentation. One thing you have to have in trips like this is flexibility, because whatever plan or schedule you have or want to keep usually has to be rearrange more than once. So with a 7:30am departure time for our ride, the alarms were set for 6:45a...at 6:46a, the sky made it known that if we wanted to ride, it was going to be a wet ride. Change of plan #1...stay in bed a little later and wait to see if the rain stops. It did, for a little bit and then it came down hard. Change of plan#2...the little walk that was planned, became a longer walk, with rain, of course. Did some shopping with the guys and then picked two pizzas that dad had ordered for lunch. We headed down to David City for the opening ceremony, but not before making a little stop for a little more shopping. If you can not ride, you might as well eat, or shop...and we can do both pretty good. The schedule of events is approximate, to say the least. Everything was supposed to start at 5p, local time, but it was 6:30p and people were still making their way into the Hotel Ciudad David, the headquarters of the race. Finally things got underway with a presentation of the organizing team, sponsors and the referee in charge. Followed by a prayer, riders swearing (promised to race clean!!!), and then the technical meeting, where all the aspects of the race were discussed by the chief referee. Once all the formalities were out of the way, each team was then called to the stage where the announcer introduced each team, its members and country. Seems like they haven't updated my information from two years ago, because the "American Team, came all the way from the captial of the United States, Washington DC"...I'm not making this up, but as each of us got on the stage, we got the largest ovation of any team. we were blinded by cameras and at one point I felt we might be in need of a bodyguard, since it felt a little rock starish. Teams and riders from Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, USA (FRESH Racing), Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina and the locals from Panama will take to the roads tomorrow, beginning with a 3km prologue in the morning followed by a 80km stage in the afternoon. With the threat of rain always present, we will not be surprised if our best laid plans, will need a little adjusting. Off to bed!!!

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