First Rest Day!
Luxor is the first rest day for the riders! Nearly everyone is taking advantage of the tours available here: East and West banks of the Nile, Valley of the Kings and Queens, temple of Karnak, etc. Tour coordinator Shanny Hill summarizes the first week – “Cairo was a busy place for everyone – and not just because its a bustling chaotic place either. Those long lists of things to do and things to buy slowly were worked through and before we knew it the Giza pyramids were disappearing behind us and we were headed for the Red Sea, the first of two major bodies of water we follow in Egypt. The first 3 nights were desert camps, giving riders ample opportunity to practice their new shower and toilet procedures. Day 4 was brought us to Safaga, with a camp right next to the Red Sea. Then another desert camp next to a police check point where some 30 officers kept us company. Finally, to Luxor, cycling the second half of the day next to the Nile, which we will now follow for quite some time.
There were some great stage finishes for the race! On a couple occassions there was a tough sprint to the line. The winners of these stages are on cyclocross bikes, but it will be interesting to see if some of the mountain bikers start to pull out some wins once we hit the sand in Sudan.
Week one has been a great success. The riders are starting to get a little more comfortable with the distances, and the Emeco staff who carry our gear and cook our meals have been great.
A big week ahead as we cross Lake Nasser by ferry and head straight into the tough tough desert stages.