Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ken Jones Classic, Devon Blizzard, Sunridge Fatbike Race

I was pretty pumped for the concluding race of the 2015 SMCC season. After arriving home from Europe and getting some good rest, I was able to put together a consistent string of good training starting with a couple of fatbike races. I enjoyed the cyclocross style format which had us completing 4-5 laps for a total race duration of ~50minutes. 

Ripping the berms at the Blizzard bike race in Devon. The volunteers at the Devon Bicycle Association did an excellent job of preparing the course: packing it down, and putting sand on the icy sections
The Sunridge race had a little more elevation change and included more singletrack and I really enjoyed it!

The course at Lake Louise is dialed in and after being cancelled in 2014 due to cold temperatures, I was looking forward to racing there again. Rain falling overnight with the freezing level somewhere around mid mountain meant that we wouldn't have to deal with the cold. 
Lots of race suits out today. There were a bunch of people chomping at my heels on the first 2 climbs.

The race starts early in the morning and I was not disciplined enough to grab an adequate warmup after the race briefing and morning uplift. That said, after a couple of weeks of ski-mo intervals on Edmonton ski club, I felt really good for the first 5 minutes of the race! My shins really started aching as the groomed trail got steeper and I  settled into 3rd place occasionally looking back to see an epic back and forth battle happening behind me. In addition to many faces that are starting to become regulars in the race series, it was impressive to see Jakub Sumbera not far behind, even though he was racing on much heavier touring gear.

Looking ahead to the 2nd climb, I saw just a single set of ski pole marks in the snow. Travis was breaking trail. Extremely impressive. I upped my cadence through the soft track and distanced myself from the chasers. I skied smooth but really suffered when the final climb steepened. This year, I didn't have Eric Carter chasing me down the final descent so I skied more relaxed to the finish.

Race notes:
-Travis did a lot of trailbreaking
-Jakub is pretty fit to be able to hang in there on heavier touring gear
-There is a big chase pack of skiers brewing up behind me. They are already chomping at Steve Sellers' heels. 
-The Zamzow kid puked on the first climb. Now that's dedication!
-Only 7 females total raced. Anna Sellers had an impressive race in the Junior category. Kylee had to abandon the race early on with some lung issues, leaving only Martha and Michelle to contest the elite race.
-Junior Kevin Hinni put down the 3rd fastest rec course time and emerged from the epic back and forth junior battle for the overall. Hope he sticks with it!

1 comment:

  1. Reading athlete reviews, looking to make a shinier KJC next winter.