Today was a rest day for us as well as for the race itself. We had breakfast in Swiss charming land, then drove down the mountain for a visit to the UCI, which is the international body that governs the rules and conduct of big-time cycling, whether professional or Olympic.
The main attraction at the UCI complex was a 200 m velodrome, and the main attraction on the velodrome was practice underway for the under-19 world track championships happening this week. I have never been to a velodrome before, much less ridden on one, and it is really something to see. The track is banked almost to the vertical around the corners.
However, the riders are going so fast that they stick to the wall without any difficulty. I really want to try it!
It was fun to watch the kids warming up, hanging around, and getting their heads into the competition, which starts on Wednesday.
We saw teams from Argentina, Portugal, Belarus, the US, France, Denmark, Belgium, and I’m sure others. At one point I was standing at the rail amidst the Danes, and it was neat to see that a) these are just a bunch of normal, pimply-faced kids (with big legs and big hearts obviously) and b) that the excitement of being at the World Championships was not lost on any of them… They were all very excited in an understated Danish kind of way.
After the UCI visit, we drove down to the city of Montreux, on the shore of Lake Geneva, and of course best known for its jazz festival. It was “lunch on your own.” I ditched the rest of the group in search of a little on your own time… Next time, I will pay the extra money for my own room.
I had a nice walk on the boardwalk and around some Montreux neighborhoods…
I had lunch in a stereotypical boardwalk restaurant, and although I had the chicken Caesar, I was curious to try horse. I’ll post more from Montreux later… It was beautiful.