Sunday, May 9, 2010

O-Cup #2 Albion Hills

After my dad decided to go to Kitchener for the weekend for my sister's last b-ball tourney of the year, I was left without a ride. If worse came to worse I would have taken the shitbox that really shouldn't be on the highway for longer than, well actually not at all. It got me to St. Catharines to hitch a ride with De Cal.

Got a good warm-up in with Etzl then around the circle by the stage area that went down last year too, got staged second row and was ready to go. I wasn't feeling as bad as I thought I would, but I did develop a small cough that is still with me now. Probably just some chicken manure residue, nothing major.

The start was pretty quick and I found myself near the back in a train with Moote, we were moving along at an easy pace and once I started to catch my breath from the start I picked the pace up and only Moote responded. We were with each other for while then we weren't, then we were, I picked it up again at the opening climb and he was still with me for a bit. I found myself alone, started feeling really good and quickly started realling guys in, quite a few were past on the Green Monster.

Lap 3 felt even better than the first 2, I was pushing hard on the double track and was riding the single track smoother than the way I rode it last year. The course suited a roadie very well, only a few slick sections and no real technical sections. I was surprised at how fast I was riding up the Green Monster, I always passed at least 3 guys there and was never passed. Just good timing I guess, obviously there were guys riding it much faster than I was.

Lap 4 started to get a little iffy, I took a water instead of E-Load (filled up my bottles there since I still haven't got around to buying some mix) to wash down the pasty lemon taste mixed with the thick gel I had a little before the end of the lap. I was drinking quite a bit because I could feel the cramp coming on in my right quad, the fourth time up the GM it made its way to my hamstrings and pedal stroke I could feel my right leg throbbing ready to unleash the cramp of all cramps. I tried to ease the pressure by pushing harder with my left leg and pulling up to baby the right one, kinda hard on a hill that steep. On the last long(ish) climb I knew I had to stay seated over the roots and at the steep switchback pitches because I could almost hear my right quad saying "if you stand, I explode". Had a 4-man train going and attacked on the last doubletrack and stayed solo till the finish.

I'm pleased with my effort, thought I did much better than 19th but that's just the way she goes. Niagara Classic will be a good tune-up race for Hardwood in a few weeks, goal is top 10/-10min from leader, seems pretty realistic if things go well.

Big thanks to De Cal's rents for the ride and him for the gels and Oat Meal to Go and to those who stuck around through the cold to cheer me on. Kerton and Jakob were super motivating at the top of GM, thanks guys.

Huge props to De Cal for a massive ride in Elite, Kerton and Jakob both narrowly missing podium spots and Sara from the SHCC who went from winning her second-ever o-cup in sport 2 weeks ago to a podium in expert today. As well as Morka and Emily for their big wins, over 20km/h average speed for Elite Women! Apparently Etzl was rockin before he got his mechanical too, bummer.

Of course, big thanks to my mom (and dad but it's mother's day) for all her support.

Day off work tomorow!

Stolen from Kerton's Flickr, coming up the Green Monster

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