Sam and Dan are arriving at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 12:15 AM, so that was not a short drive back from Groningen. The terminal's practically abandoned at this hour, and remains so when Meghan and Cheyne show up shortly thereafter. They find a departure board that shows two KLM flights to Stockholm: one at 6:55 the next morning, and one at 9:25. They meet up with the brothers, and all four agree they should probably try to get on that 6:55 flight. That right there is how you can tell who the frontrunners are. Other teams might debate the possible merits of leaving two and a half hours later, but these folks are nothing if not decisive. Problem is, when they reach the KLM ticket counter, they find it staffed only be a sign reading, in Dutch and English, "counter open at 05.30 hrs." So they settle down for a long sit.
The Globetrotters are also showing up at the airport, as are Gary and Matt. "Another night in the airport," Matt murmurs. I know someone who might have some tips for spending a night in the Amsterdam airport, if only they could get a hold of Brad and Victoria.
Finally, Brian and Ericka are leaving at 1:38 AM, which, ouch. That's more than four hours behind the leaders. No wonder they thought they were out. They head back to Amsterdam, Brian remarking that this is the path they walked in their clogs during the last leg. He interviews that they're on the race to prove something to her family. Apparently his in-laws have not been entirely supportive, so he wants to prove they're a good team. So I guess that having a million dollars to wave in their faces would just be gravy.
And then the next thing that happens is the sun comes up, and it's 5:30, and the three lead teams are getting their 6:55 tickets from three different agents. But when Matt and Gary step up to the counter, they learn the flight is full. Haven't seen that in a while. Both they and Brian|Ericka do manage to get onto the 9:25 flight, however, for all the good it does them. They're left sitting together at the departure gate while Meghan|Cheyne, the Globetrotters, and Sam|Dan get on their 6:55 flight to Stockholm. Sucks to be them, but it would be worse to be the only team left behind. Funny how that never happens.
At Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, the brothers are leading the run through the terminal, followed by Meghan and Cheyne and then the Globetrotters. The brothers are the first to one of the ATM-style machines that dispense tickets for the train from the airport into the city, and Meghan and Cheyne don't wait in line behind them for very long before switching to a different machine. The Globetrotters skip this level entirely and get on the escalator down to the platform, expecting to be able to buy their tickets there. Meghan and Cheyne seem to get their machine to work first, followed by the brothers, so now they can all head down the escalator and jump right into the waiting train. But it won't be waiting much longer; there's an LED sign overhead reading that it'll be departing in one minute. Too bad the Globetrotters are still trying to wrangle their ticket machine. Sam and Dan also make the train, chanting at the doors, "close, close close close" as soon as they're safely on board. And they do, while Flight Time is still trying to feed bills to the machine. Happy birthday, sucker. Sam interviews that the Globetrotters are their "rivals," calling them "the other all-male team, very athletic." Wait, is there something Gary isn't telling us? Perhaps he protested a bit much regarding the dress-wearing last week, now that I think about it.