It’s both great and extremely challenging to race at home. Sleeping in your own bed, having knowledge of the courses, familiar foods, family, and friends make it very fun. On the flip side, it is hard to escape the responsibilities of family and work when you are not out of town. With a one year old running around and being self-employed you can never fully get away, even for a pro stage race.
To help Donkey Label with exposure we agreed to a few media events, one at 6:00am Wednesday before the time trial. No problem for me since Thor likes to wake me up at 5am for “playtime”. We raced at 9am then went to work and prepped for a 8pm criterium in St. Paul. We line up in a corral 30-45 minutes before each crit just to ensure a good starting position as being near the front at the beginning help avoid crashes and gaps in the field. After racing until 9:30pm, since our team took the yellow leaders jersey, we spent quite a bit of time at the podium and celebrating. After a quick cool down I got home at 11pm, still buzzing from excitement and caffeine, I got to sleep around 1am.
Thursday Thor was ready to play by 5:30am then off to work before heading down to Cannon Falls for the road race. Upon arriving we learned that the start time had just been pushed back and hour to 4:45pm. With 3 hours to kill in Cannon Falls, fortunately we had an RV to relax in. No warm-up necessary before the 85 mile road race, we successfully defended the lead and loaded the RV around 8:45pm, back to DL HQ by 9:45, home by 10:30pm.
Friday was a morning ride with Thor and the burley. In to work for a while and then another 8pm crit in Uptown. Home by 11pm with an extended lead in the race. More caffeine and excitement kept me up past 2am until finally succumbing to slumber.
10:30am RV heads to Menomonie for 1:30pm road race. 101 miles and lots of hills saw us out horse powered by another team and we lost the lead in the race. We had to wait around for one of our riders to be drug tested (hard to produce a sample when dehydrated). We rolled back to DL at 8:30pm and I was sleeping by 10pm.
Sunday finally arrives and the Stillwater crit has a relaxing start of 1:30pm. Pedal up a hill 23 times and finally relax. We had a great week, tasted some success, but most of all, are all ready for rest. One of our sponsors hosted a post-race party but after a shower and food I was sleeping by 7pm. Can’t wait for next year.
Written by Jon Toftoy - DL Elite racer