After a hot and rowdy first day of racing, the second day continued in similar fashion. With an aggressively steep climb and a technical descent in the middle of each of the 5 laps, the field grew continuously smaller as the race progressed. A sudden downpour left the riders wet and the course slick, but the riders finished safely with no crashes and only a couple of mechanicals.
More memorable than the results of Stage 2 were the post-race images of the team hanging out on the Sea Boss, the sturdiest of vessels, complete with some snorkeling at Bucco Reef and a soak in the famous Nylon Pool.
Stage 3 was a criterium on a course riddled with potholes, broken pavement, and the occasional chicken. An early crash took out two of the riders, and another bout of rain made the already scary course even more treacherous. Kyle Kirby and Blake Anton remained in the mix, keeping themselves upright, with Kyle finishing 9th on the day after driving the winning breakaway to the line.
With Kyle’s finish, he moved into the GC lead for the team, taking road captain responsibilities from Blake Anton and earning hella brownie points from director Phil Mooney. With three tough days of racing already in the legs, and two more challenging days to come, the guys hooked up their Marc Pro units and tried to recover before the final days of racing.
Stage 4 brought another wet and wild criterium in downtown Scarborough, with a cloudburst soaking the roads just minutes before the start. With half of the island’s oil supply stuck on the roads, slippery surfaces made the course feel more like an ice rink than a crit course, but with our tubeless IRC Tires dialed in to the perfect pressure we were able to glide through with ease.
After some aggressive racing in the first half of the race, we were able to place two riders into a 3-man breakaway that stuck until the final few laps, and Blake helped set up Kyle for the sprint. With one lap to go things were looking good as the team was set up in good position, but a minor mistake in the final sent Kyle through some potholes the size of the Grand Canyon causing him to lose out on another top 10 finish. With the stage finished safely, we refueled and got ready for one of the biggest attractions of the Tour of Tobago: the Classic Rum Punch Picnic.
With the longest and hardest stage remaining, the best way for us to prepare was to soak up some sun at the Rum Punch Picnic. We spent the afternoon enjoying the generously provided food, Coronas, music, jet skis and banana boat. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try some Tobagonian Doubles you are seriously missing out. When we weren’t chowing down or making friends with the local dog, we were working our upper bodies more than we ever have taking out the jet skis and banana boat.
After getting our share of the local music and limbo competition, and having been tossed off the banana boat only a handful of times, we retired back to the apartments to prepare for the final stage of the Tour of Tobago.