I have been in Astana, Kazakhstan for almost 5 days now and I am still being followed relentless by the fog of jetlag so I won’t write too much today. But our videographer, Steve Sleep, has taken some great photos and he said I could share them here.
Here are the riders for this World Cup. A few people are sitting this one out for various reasons, Steph and Laura just came back from their gold medal performance at Pan Am Games, and Zach and Tara are still getting their track legs back after good summer seasons of road racing. From L to R we’ve have Travis, Hugo, Julia, Joseph, Gillian, me and Jasmin. (Jasmin also won gold in the Team Pursuit at Pan Am Games with Laura and Steph.)
With 24 hours of travel it is easy for bikes to get lost on the way. But with only 12 flights flying into Astana per week, it is hard to get them back! None of our bikes (or Gillian’s bag) arrived until our third day here, one day before racing started! (Racing started yesterday with the Women’s Team Pursuit. It was their first time riding as a team and they showed great potential!) Here is Sandy building up loaner bikes from the velodrome. It was very scary to ride these bikes that hardly fit on a brand new track! Here is our trusty mechanic Sandy helping us get the loaner bikes ready.
The city became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1998 and began huge changes. There are some beautiful buildings and the architechture is very creative. Still, there is a big difference between the old and the new. Frozen clothes on the line will dry if left long enough. The air temp is a chilly -11. That’s the new velodrome in the background.
Mud and straw bricks and coal heat. This house is 100 m from the new velodrome.
The velodrome building looks like an aero helment. The biggest velodrome I have ever been to.
Looking through the centre of this building, you can see a volcano shaped building in the distance. This is a shopping centre. On the 3rd floor is a beach, complete with water, palm trees, and very warm temperatures. The building glows blue at night.
The Bayterek is a monument and observation tower in Astana, epitomizing its elevation in 1997 to the status of capital of the country.
There are bronze sculptures everywhere. This one is of a woman waving across a bridge.
The men have Team Sprint today, and I have the Sprints tomorrow and Keirin Sunday. I will update results when I can!