Lauren Hall

Mississippi native, retired professional cyclist, advocate for all things cycling, mentor, ambassador of happiness

San Luis race and travel

Ok! Wow! That race just chewed us up and spit us out the other side. 

The first day(Saturday) was just a single day race followed by a 6 day stage race in the same area starting on Sunday.  So day one, pouring rain but we raced well and I managed 8th place - not a bad start.  I had gone back to the car at one point to ask the mechanic a question and when I started to go back to the front, my teammate, Lauren Komanski, was coming back up with me(she had flatted earlier) and just as we were about to go around the last car in a right hand turn, there was a crash in the peleton ahead of us.  So I had managed to pull around the car safely but Komanski on the other hand ran into the back of the car, breaking the back bumper with her knee(1st crash).  She was ok but decided to call it a day and focus on the upcoming week.

Sunday - day one(120k) of the stage race. There is a sprint for time bonuses at 30k into the race which I was being set up for when it was time to go, I stood up, started my sprint when all of a sudden I was headed for the pavement.  This has happened to me before and as soon as I came to a stop I knew what it was.  My chain came off the big ring to the outside and you loose all tension and there is no going back.  My knee then hits the bars which sends me into a nice face plant position except that I'm quick enough to catch my body with my elbow, back and then down the hip and leg.  The bad part about it was that I took Komanski down with me - great.  We both got up, by this time the car has made it up to us and I just look at the mechanic and give some choice words(I apologized later) and he put me on a spare bike to finish out the day.  It was a long ride in to the finish but we both made it, so starts the process of painful showers and sleepless nights - ugh. 

Breakfast - 7:30-9:30am, second breakfast - 11:45(pasta), race around 3pm. 

Team vehicles for the week for everyone... 

I'll spare you our wound photos but this was Komanski's first aid kit(thank goodness) and we used 90% of what she brought. 

We soldier on, the next day Brie wakes up and is sick to her stomach so she is out of the race and by the end of the day her roommate Ali is also out.  

We soldier on, day 3 Kendall crashes and as she sits up realizes she has her hand through someone's wheel and has broken wheels spokes with her forearm and thinks her wrist is broken - she's out. 


We soldier on, day 4 is a time trial thank goodness.  This is the day Lauren Stephens wins the TT and takes the jersey.  I'm starting to not feel to well -hmmm.

We soldier on, day 5, I wake up sick, head cold sick.  I make it to 45k in the race and pull out in the feed zone, I'm out.  Sometime between there and the finish, Komanski crashes again, opens all her current road rash again - OUCH! 

They soldier on, day 6, Stephens wakes up with the stomach bug but her and Komanski start the race, Komanski pulls out and Stephens finishes 4th overall.  

The last day the hotel made us cupcakes for breakfast;) Yep, I ate one. 

We had to move hotels for the night and when we were leaving the hotel, these kids were wanting anything we could give them - bottles, hats, gloves, jerseys, t-shirts. 

Hey big sexy....just a fun sighting on the road. 

When you have road rash you don't sleep, showers hurt, it throbs and you are moving around when you don't want to. Therapy? Whiskey and chocolate...

We went out to dinner and I thought these were so clever! I think the silver cylinder in the center is frozen to keep the beer cold? I dunno but I was interested. 

The race has a party on the last night and these girls were ready to go!!! The 3 Lauren's opted out and that was a good call seeing they didn't get back until 3am or 5am, depending on who tells the story. 

Then starts the travel fun....

This is how we spend most of our time - standing around waiting...

And when we gave up on standing around waiting, we went for some of this goodness:) 

This is the whole San Luis airport... our group took up most of the space naturally. 

Airport people watching is so much fun... 

More people watching... 

These people must've been here a while to have to come up with this plan - use the push carts to make a protective square, set up blankets and blow up mattresses inside the square, sleep tight. 

Our travel schedule is as follows, Saturday night flight to Buenos Aires 10pm depart, arrive at 12am, shuffle to a hotel, sleep till the 6am wake up call, we leave at 9:30 for the Buenos Aires airport.  Stay at this airport till 6pm when we then fly to Chile(please take a moment to look at a map and see how we fly right back over San Luis), walk to our next gate, board, fly from Chile to Miami(7 1/2hrs), land in Miami and wait for all our bikes and bags and wait and wait.  We were the last to get things and then we were split up with everyone's bags all mixed up and some of us were sent to declaration and some of us were sent straight out.  When we get to the location where you re-check your bags on to the final destination some of the girls had walked out the MAGICAL doors that they couldn't come back through.  They were told that we wouldn't make our connection and they should go to ticketing while we were told we WOULD make our flight and sent our bags on to the final destination. 

This was how we spent the majority of our think the cafe workers were happy or no? :) 

Oops, look what we found again:)!!! 


Both my bags magically made it on through - kind of.  So then we run to security, go back through US security, run to our gate and on the next flight to San Francisco - 7hrs.  I think my head is about to explode and I STINK, we all STINK. 

Land in San Francisco and I make a mental note that this is the cleanest airport in the WORLD, onward to bag claim.  Wait for our bags and guess what, no bags! I should've bet with the other guy but at least I was there and headed towards my final leg of travel and at that point I really didn't care if I saw those bags again and maybe I really wasn't at that big of a loss? 

SFO has a cool NFL gallery and I captured this photo, it was the earliest photo they had, post Bullet Hall though. 

I had to go back through security and then, not a moment sooner, I had 45min to change clothes, brush my teeth, get some food and relax.  I arrived back in Tucson at 4:20pm on Monday.  

Someone asked me if I would ever do that race again and I said yes but only if we could make our own tickets.  San Luis was beautiful, it was a small town and they were very welcoming and patient with us.  

Now it's back to training for a couple of weeks before heading to team camp on Feb. 5th.  I'll try to find some fun adventures between now and then:) 

Reading - A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Listening - Spotify channel 'Pop Chillout'

Watching - my host's cats cruise around the house

Eating - roasted, seasoned seaweed snacks

Website -, one of our team sponsors... 

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