Neil Armstrong was over at 7:30 to pick me up, we headed south of the border for my first race in a different country. Rolled in Sprague Brook park before 9 and got registered and whatnot, hit up the first set of singletrack a few minutes later and realised I still had my toque on. I actually got in a very good warm-up today, around 40min, delayed start, some more spinning, shoot the shit, line up at a baseball diamond and we were off.
I entered the first bit of singletrack sitting 8th, up the first long climb I was pretty comfortable in the train. I didn't loose any spots but by the time we got out the open road I seemed to be behind 20, not sure what happened there, some people were talking about wrong turns that made for a short cut, I'm sure no one actually ment to do it. Anyways, this was before the second big climb so I picked off a few here and there and made my way back to my spot. Coming around the pond before the final descent of lap 1 a few people got caught by a flat trap, a dip just big enough to fit your wheel so if you hit it just right you find yourself with no more air, the guy in front of me who got caught was riding a 29er. Dismount and run it is.
Lap 2 I was feeling very good, the caffeine from the gel Nathan gave me was working its magic and I was starting to bridge gaps in the singletrack. I'll have a better idea of what position I was it at what point when the results are up but I believe I was in 5th or 6th and starting to pull in the next guy. I wanted to pick off 2 more guys before the end of the lap, but riding on the bumpy and greasy open field between trails just kicks the shit out of you. There was one nice really long doubletrack section that was pure horsepower, but I still couldn't seem to get the next guy. A few spots were swapped before the end of the lap but I think I stayed in the same position.
Starting lap 3 I could feel the depletion of energy in my legs and a hard-charging JC "the power house frenchman" Roberge wasn't making things any better. He ended up catching me on an open field section and I was unable to hold on to his wheel, I should have taken my gel before the next guy caught me that way I could have jumped on his wheel, but I took it after I realised that if I went hard on the next climb I would surely cramp. I had to let him go, lesson learned, eat gel before getting caught and not after. The rest of the race I fought hard but there was no one in sight behind me or in front of me, JC was gone. Came through the finish in 1:48 -corrected- and the winning time was 1:40ish by none other than Nathan Chown, no need for ""'s between his first and last name. Apparently he was leading the country in UCI points way back when, had no idea until there was a speach about him before his award.
Before the awards JC and I headed over to some 55 degree water to destinkafy and cool off, I'm not too sure where the water came from but I'll post up tomorow if I start to sprout a third arm.
Now get this, after the race we were treated to some deliciously greassy pizza, some salad AND FREE BEER! Yeah, I know, crazy. It nearly brought a tear to my eye, I think I saw JC crying out of joy though while eating out of his pizza box: "What? Dey ran out of plate". Although it was not as good as we make it, a wise man once told me that the best beer in world is a free beer, that would be my father. Out of respect, I couldn't not have one.
Huge props, first of all, to anyone who rode that course on a cross bike. Just finishing with one of those must have been a huge challenge, I couldn't bring myself to complain about how sore my arms and lower back were because of them. Of course, big props to Chown for the win, Neil Armstrong for his second place in 45+ (both on cx bikes), JC for an awesome performance for his first race of the year, as a matter of fact, Canada was really well represented with the SHCC and St.CCC. Also, props to De Cal, Perry, Visser, and Maccalum for their performance at Springbank.
Huge thanks to Neil for taking me there and back, that guy is awesome. Also, to Chown for his defenitely needed gel and bottle-and-a-half of Accelerade.
Tomorow is the opening night of the Youth MTB club, always a good time. Looks like a road race weekend in Hamburg as well as the Racoon Rally might be added to the schedule, which is getting pretty crammed if you ask me.