The race takes place on Nassau, and the road race course loops around half the circumference of the island. It is a three-stage race:
Time Trial: 3 miles
Circuit Race: 42 miles total (6 mile loop)
Road Race: 76 miles (17-mile loop )
The race was first run in 2003 and has grown in prominence, although it is not by any means on the UCI calendar. Past champions include two fairly big names in cycling, Tyler Farrar and Caleb Fairly. The two fastest TT times are held by David Zabriskie and Floyd Landis, whose post race e-mail stated:
I beat the course record set by Zman [David Zabriskie] two years ago and I was on somebody else's road bike with clinchers and no aero clothes. Take that f@*#ers.
Although Landis won the TT, Caleb Fairly of Garmin's development squad managed to overtake him for the overall (just as Fairly did again at Tour of Battenkill).
The Tour of Bahamas' reigning champ is MABRA's own Chuck Hutcheson, who as an amateur took an impressive win with support from his Battley-Harley XO Communications teammates Brian Sacawa and Jared Nieters.
Unfortunately, Hutcheson is unable to defend his title. He moved to California after last season and was involved in an accident which prevented his return to Bahamas. Nonetheless, Battley-Harley XO and several other MABRA teams have dispatched a group of riders to the Bahamas, hoping to retain the title.
Shots of our athletes in action on the sand have trickled out:
Here one elite MABRA athlete appears to be rolling around in the sand, presumably intoxicated. Another, identified by our forensics experts as Tim Rugg, attempts to cop a feel on a rider identified as DJ Brew, who is deep in some sort of squatting pose. Other MABRA riders stand around in a daze, probably also inebriated or unable to understand the warmth and brightness of the climate.
Jared Nieters snapped a full frontal photo of Tim Rugg in his natural habitat. Most notably, Nieters caught Rugg in full musth.
Our wildlife experts explain that the hair that appears on Rugg's face is an indication that he is in what experts call "musth," a periodic condition in bull elephants, characterized by highly aggressive behavior, accompanied by a large rise in reproductive hormones--testosterone levels in an elephant must can be as much as 60 times greater than in the same elephant at other times. Although musth is, as the experts note, typically an elephant behavior, Rugg is known to be elephantine in certain ways.
While elephants secret a compound called "temporin" from their skulls, Rugg secretes hair from his upper lip.
Human musth-oids are rare, although they are generally more common in cycling and in skinny jeans than the general population. And the Tour of Bahamas, for whatever reason, has typically provoked the musthoid reaction in certain riders. Most notably, one Dave Zabriskie:
The race begins tomorrow.