Pan Am Champs
This was my 3rd year in a row racing at the Pan American Championships. I won in 2010 in Guatemala. Pan Am’s are pretty cool, basically it is the continental championship for North and South America. One thing I have noticed over the past few years is that the tracks are pretty sketchy. It is a hard race to do as your first real race of the year. Tracks are just built really differently. Wild...best word to describe it.
I have met so many great people racing Pan Ams, it is a different crowd than we usually see in North America or Europe. Since Pan Ams is held so early in the year, it is almost always in central or South America.
I met Lorena at anti-doping in 2010. We sat there waiting to pee for UCI and have been friends since. Anyway, Lorena is from Mexico City and Pan Ams were held in Puebla, Mexico this year (2 hours from Mexico City) so I flew down early to hang out. And we picked up Vero (for Chile) so it was the three of us...sooooo fun. Traveling is one of the best parts about riding and racing so you might as well make the most of it right? i think so.
Lorena’s family was seriously incredible. I felt like part of the family from the time I stepped foot in thier house. I ate so much delicious food, saw so many cool things and met a lot of fun people. And my spanish got wayyyy better. Lorena was really the only person that spoke english so just being around spanish 24/7 it all started to come back to me which was really cool. I was stumbling with the basics when I got there and by the end, enough came back that I was able to have real conversations.
I wish that I could report to you that I came away with another title, but I didn’t. :( It did go to Jackie Harmony though so that rad so the USA brought it home. 2nd one for Jackie in a row, she’s on a roll! We will see about 3 in a row...hahaha. :) Seriously though, I had a great time hanging out with Jackie and really got to know her on this trip...she is a great girl with a lot of talent and drive.
I just want to give a massive shout out to Lorena and the Drumondo family...my trip would not have been the same with out this kind family!