Worlds, that’s what it is all about. It’s the very best from all over the world getting together to do what we love most — ride our bikes.
This year’s race was in the Italian region of Tuscany. This was my first time at the road championships, and I couldn’t think of a better place for the experience. As a city, Florence, is simply gorgeous! And food? Well, for a pizza lover and cappuccino drinker, Italy is just paradise. The ‘tifosis’ — fans in Italian — are so into the sport and also very friendly.
Representing your country is another special feature of the world championships. It’s an honor to stand at the start line knowing that a whole nation is cheering for you, and because of that it’s also a big responsibility.
I flew into Florence 10 days before the race, plenty of time to get used to the time zone, check out the course and get ready for the big day. I needed to do some training before the race, and that meant discovering some amazing places. There was not a single day I didn’t get lost when riding either on country roads or in town, but I like to think of it as a way to get to know a place better. I also came to know the people better, asking for directions so often. Luckily for me, Spanish and Italian are not so different. Italians were always very kind and helpful. They were excited about the race and often asked for my name and even a picture.
As for the race, the moment I crossed the finish line after more than four hours of racing, I had a huge smile on my face. I was exhausted, but I knew I had done my best. It was a great learning experience, and I can’t wait to put that knowledge together and come back next year.
Thank you all,
— Luis Lemus