Day 3 is almost always the critical one and today at RACAS was no exception. Especially Jirka paid for his novice status in full and the struggle became real for him. Day three started with rain, of course. With Saturday being rather a pleasant day, it all changed by 4 PM in the afternoon and heavy rain was starting to pour on Jirka who was somewhere near Děčín. Dan, attacking the western part of the route, did not stay dry for too long, either. Whilst Dan took cover from the heaviest rain inside his support team van, Jirka took the full hit because his support team had to split for that moment. And so it happened that Jirka was riding a nice wet route over Děčín Sněžník Hill more like swimming than cycling at times. There was no place to hide from the rain and no dry clothes to change to after the rain stopped, so when he got to Cínovec he was all wet and frozen and did not go any further. He decided to stop by at his grandmother’s who lives nearby and surprised her in the evening with his whole support team.
The night didn’t bring any sleep for neither of our racers. Jirka spent the night in the bed but was able to fall asleep just for a short while. The image of Dan’s GPS tracker, flying into the night, was going on in Jirka’s head, whilst he’s just laid there… No wonder he wouldn’t sleep. He woke his team up at 2 AM and set off half an hour later. As it turned out it wasn’t the best idea after all, as he barely covered 50 km and got so cold in the long descent that he had to get into the car and get a little warm. Combined with a stomach-ache, a real crisis was inevitable and Jirka dozed off for nearly an hour. Didn’t seem to help him very much, he struggled throughout the whole day after, despite the fact his favourite sunny weather was there for a moment. He came into Cheb and finished his racing day after 4 PM, to “try to get some sleep and balance the body rhythms,” he said…
Dan lay down to sleep as well but was unable to close his eyes either and he gave up after a couple of minutes. Instead, he got up and got on his bike and tried to make a run for it. He didn’t get off his bike except for breakfast and lunch the day after, and we counted exactly 2 hours of sleep for the past 3 days for him!
By the way, his lunch break… is an interesting show to watch, performed by his team! Dan counts the time for his meal breaks according to how he feels at that moment, he then shouts the time at the team, and they start to get ready straight away with cooking, baking, finding the right place and waiting for Dan. When our racer arrives, everything must work around the clock. Somebody gets the chair ready along with a tub of water, somebody grabs the bike, somebody else serves the soup, another person makes coffee or tea, and two people start with the massage… in an half an hour, clean, fed and relaxed Dan takes off on his fully repaired bike and in good spirits… One would think what an easy job for him, then! But that’s just one part of the racing…
So what actually makes Dan worry? The weather, he says, and the state of some roads, but he does enjoy the race so far. Regardless, he did make an observation for RACAS being a very generous race with a very difficult route. Also, he complained about his sore feet. Up in the hills, you are left with two choices – stay sat on the bike and seriously hurt your bottom or be stood up on your feet and seriously hurt those, so it’s the lesser of two evils choice, really… anyways, nothing that he couldn’t manage!
And regarding the numbers for the third day?
Dan made 420 km and 1469 km in total
Jirka made 268 km and 1112 km in total
It looks like Dan might ride through the Slovakian part of the journey already by tomorrow, which starts at the very same place as the start line, in Vsetín Lower Square. Follow us as we will be announcing the exact time of Dan’s arrival to Vsetín and come over to support him!!!