This race is tough even for the veterans who have been doing it for years. So imagine the difficulty for the best young rider.. we heard from him today.
Bicyclers tuned up their wheels and layered on the sun block Friday in preparation for the grueling 110-mile Joe Martin Stage Race.
"We have been eating a lot," said one man. "There are a couple good climbs out there," said another. "I'm geared up for this race," said one bicycler. But the course is even tougher for 22-year-old Joe Schmalz.
"I have been racing since I was 12," said Schmalz. After winning the time trial for his age group Thursday, Schmalz was named the best young rider.
"Today I'm going to rely on my teammates as well as other riders," said Schmalz. Schmalz biggest obstacle is actually something you can't see. "The crosswind is going to be the most difficult, me being a smaller rider," said Schmalz.
Year-round Schmalz prepares 25 to 30 hours each week. "You have to make sure you can do the distance. So a lot of miles. Spending a lot of time on the bike," said Schmalz.
But he says the ultimate assett is not preparation or the kind of bike you ride. "A lot of people don't understand how teamwork plays such a huge role in what we do out there," said Schmalz.
The course will loop down to Fort Smith and then come back to Fayetteville and end on Dickson Street.