Just had a nice chat with Rob and night crew driver Mike Desilet. They just checked into TS 5 in Salome, AZ. The sun had fully risen, so they were taking a quick break to change clothes and put some sun block on Rob for the day ahead.
In no particular order:
- He feels great.
- He rode with Jure for the first 20 miles of the race "...but had no delusions about staying with him."
- He moved into fourth place overall during the night.
- The third place guy is about 10 minutes up the road and second place is about an hour up the road.
- All of this means exactly NOTHING at this early stage of the race, other than the fact that everything is going EXACTLY according to plan.
- As is tradition for Rob on RAAM, the amplifier that powers the external speakers on the pace van is not working properly. This is the amp that blasts music for the whole race. They will be looking to buy a new amp today.
- About 10 minutes after transition last night, Rob got a flat tire. Luckily, Jeff and Joe of the night crew brigade both work at The Bike Express in Danbury and had Rob back on the road with a new wheel in about 45 seconds. (If I was the one racing, that would have been my cue to say "That's it boys! We gave it our best shot! Let's pack this thing up and head home!"