Sunday, June 6, 2010
"YEAH...NO MORE CAT 3"
With a 2nd place in the Pigeon Lake road race, I have finally accumulated enough points to make it to the elite road level. But first, a little rewind to the previous weekend:
After a nice easy recovery week, I headed down to Canmore to see my brother, and to ride my bike. I am so thankful that my parents were smart enough to buy a house in Canmore, and not some lame lake in central Alberta.
Saturday was spent pimping out my bike (a future post to come). Then a short and muddy ride of the new Highline trail. Sunday was spent riding some trails from past World Cup and Canada Cup courses (late 1990's) at the Canmore Nordic Centre (CNC, home of next weekend's Iron Lung race). The CNC is one of my favourite places to ride as the trails are awesome (rooty, technical, flowy, challenging; now that I know where all the good ones are), and you can ride for as long as you like. It just got a little cold when it started to snow...
Blew up at the Tuesday night race hanging on to the leaders after a very fast first lap (by my standards), but gave the sufferface a good workout to keep my position. The legs were a little fatigued the next day, but not enough to prevent me from "cleaning" the McNally hill for the first time on my 3rd try...now they were really fatigued.
And that brings us to Sunday's road race: A fairly active first lap (out of 4), but it seemed that anytime I even thought about putting down 400+ watts there was someone on my wheel. Probably a combination of my weak sauce attacks, too early into the race, or someone really did not want me to go off the front. Silly riding on my part. Andre had gotten away with a fast group of riders, who I tried to bridge up to, but unfortunately just ended up eating away at the gap...to my teammate! Unfortunately, a strong pull by a strong rider brought back the breakaway.
Toned it down for the next laps, but a breakaway had gotten away while I was chilling at the back. Crunch time and my teammates Josh, Andre, and even Mark buried themselves on the front to bring the break back. Going into the finish, I was not placed very well within the field, and was worried that this would turn into another midpack finish. However, there were a lot of hurting legs in the final uphill sprint, and I donned the sufferface and pedaled squares with my legs starting to cramp to take 2nd place.
My teammates (Andre, Josh, and Mark) did a wonderful job sacrificing their legs to give me a shot at the win and I am very thankful! How will I return the favour? Cat 2 is a huge step up in speed, so I will need some time to upgrade the engine, but I am pumped to be able to pin on the 2 digit numbers that just scream "fast".
Sadly, we were reminded with the unfortunate realities of road racing: there had been huge crashes in the cat 5, and the women's groups leaving numerous broken bikes, and even some broken bodies :( . Healing vibes ++++++, but I wouldn't blame them if they never returned to road racing.