Day in The Life: Stage 1 Tour de Pologne
Working in sports PR is always interesting, but working in professional cycling is extra unique. It is a sport and industry that isn't super well known in the US and the day-to-day life combines both chaos and a fairly consistent routine. This is a world that isn't for many. We spend a lot of time on the road and burnout can be high. There is little time for family, friends or simply normal life. But for the right person, this wild circus can feel like home.
No day is ever the same, but here is a brief glimpse into a "normal" day for me.
- Day started: Warsaw, Poland
- Day finished: Rawa Mazowiecka, Poland
- Hours spent in the car: nearly five. All high stress traffic.
- Coffees consumed: five (not enough)
8:00am wake up--this rarely happens but it seems the Tour de Pologne is all about the late start, which I openly embrace. I started the day with some stretching. Everything felt super tight, which I'm assuming came from too much walking, too much sitting and not enough water.
Did about a seven-kilometer walk throughout downtown Warsaw. I always try to work out while at races and this can often mean a 5:3-6:00am wake-up, so 8am felt downright luxurious.
9:15am -- Race breakfast. Most races have the same food. It is all designed for the riders, so think lots of protein, carbs and fruit. Lots of pasta, rice and olive oil. Here in Poland, they have some amazing pastries that I'm having to miss out. Damn no gluten. So instead, I started a little egg-heavy. Instead of eating all of those eggs, I stole the hard boiled ones and a few pieces of fruit for snacks on the road. The cherries here are unbelievable.
And per my usu, I grabbed a cup of coffee to go. So far, I haven't found anywhere with almond, soy or coconut milk. I'm not too surprised but black coffee isn't totally my thing.
9:45am -- Quick shower while trying to multitask pre-race work. Even though I'm at the Tour de Pologne, I'm already looking ahead to some major races later this month and into August. There is no slowing down, even if I'm in the middle of no where, going full gas for a race and with poor wifi. At this point, the wifi at the hotel had crashed, so I tethered from my phone. It still was too slow to edit photos and send them out to reporters. I fought and fought to no avail. The no-wifi battle meant I was short on time, which equaled no effort on my looks. The aim to blow dry totally went out the window and a bad hair day ensued.
10:30am -- Basically time to leave, so I ran to the hotel lobby and found slightly better wifi to get out some vital emails. I had five minutes to pull this all off, check out and load up a car. You can't be late...as in 15 minutes early might be late. This left me feeling a little stressed.
10:45am -- Waited for the team bus and team cars so we could all caravan to the race start. At the Tour de Pologne, the transfers to the start and to the finish have been anything but smooth. Down right brutal? Driving seems to be half the race.
1:00pm -- I went with some of our sponsors and found an adorable coffee shop, La Pasta. Again, I was sipping only black espresso, but my blood runs on caffeine....milk alternative be damned. This place was perfect and even did drinks to go (fairly tough to find in Europe outside of Starbucks). Definitely a pre-race score.
Got a few pre-race interviews conducted and did some networking with other (few) English speaking media at the race. Then grabbed my lunch bag and loaded into the car.
1:30pm -- all lined up and ready to go. At this point, I had no idea the miserable transfer that awaited me. To make things even better, it started raining.
2:30pm -- Still sitting in the car, despite the Garmin stating it would take 25 minutes. The transfer was beyond miserable. I had no idea 30 kilometers would take me over two hours. It was a hair pulling disaster.
3:45pm -- Found an amazing gastropub, Momu, with super strong wifi. At this point in the day, cramming in 45 minutes of work was top priority. I ordered a coconut thai chicken soup that arrived about 90 seconds before I had to leave for the finish. I sucked it down and ran out. It was delicious as it scalded my throat.
4:30pm -- Waiting for the race to end. The five kilometers before the race arrives is always a fun little social event where everyone shares all their crazy stories and dramas of the day typically about getting from the start, to the feed zone and then into the finish. It's never easy and it always feels like we pull it off by the skin of our teeth. It's fun to be in a sport where, while we are all competing against one another, there is a sense that we are all in this craziness together and tend to be friendly.
Did a few post-race video interviews with the riders and got quotes for race reports and then set off to find more caffeine to push through my late afternoon lull.
6:50pm -- Lots of iced espressos to push through a few more hours of work. Finally closed up post-race work for the day and hit the road. The sun was out for the drive. It was one of those great days where all the essential work was done at the finish. Then we tackled the transfer to that night's hotel. Knowing you have videos uploaded, your race report in and any media recaps done helps take the stress off driving (and no, that isn't my RV. I'm sporting a lovely rental Cleo).
8:15pm -- Pulled into the hotel, Hotel Ossa. The place was enormous and it took awhile to find my key and then even longer to find my room. Fortunately, I made it in before the next thunderstorm rolled in.
9:15pm -- I finally sat down to dinner. Funny thing is, I was one of the first people in there. Maybe because I skipped bringing in my bag and decided to forgo a shower until later. This place was quite great except for the maze that was getting from my room to the restaurant and back. But all in all, a great hotel by race standards. Decent food and great dessert fruit.
10:15pm -- Still sending a few post race emails before bed and confirming details for tomorrow's interviews. A quick shower and some brainless US celebrity magazine reading and I was out.
10:35pm -- Called it a day and went to bed.