The big local bash has come and gone, for me, it went a little something like this;
Start was awful, I got clipped in and dropped my chain about 20 times before I finally got going. I was pretty much in last and had to blow quite a few matches to catch back up to the back of the group. When we turned onto St Paul I took the far outside line, no brakes because if I slowed down I would need to stand and hammer to get going which would innevitably result in dropping my chain. I blew a few more matches to get much closer to the front and by the time we got on the gravel I was in a good spot. That turn is pretty slow though, so of course I lost pretty much all my spots when I kept dropping my chain trying to get up to speed. From there to the trail I just remember barely being able to breathe or see, ending up on the grass a few times as a result of this and just barely missing the big pile-up.
There we go, some trail, it was hard to keep up trying to spin in my little ring but I tried to keep it as smooth as I could. I forget who I was with but the guy leading our train was going super slow in Marv's new singletrack and myself, Wagler and Paziuk couldn't get by till the twisty open stuff before the first road climb. I hammered hard up that and we got a good group of 3 working together and another 3 or so hanging on to the back. I didn't mind working because we were gaining on the next bunch. Kept it smooth on the next set of trails and hammered up the second DeCew climb bringing only 2 with me. Some fast trails, road, more fast trails and next thing I knew I was with Etzy. Him, Jamie and myself were working on the road then I lost them in the trails not being able to stand and hammer out the bigger gears.
Mike from Long Sault was my carrot through Brock, along the creek and into Suzanne's. The gap stayed the same from 2 bridges until after Suzanne's, when Garrigan was closing in (he had a flat) I took it easy hoping to be able to grap his draft when he came by. Kind of worked out the same way it went for De Cal when he tried to grab Watson's wheel, I tried to gather up some motivation for a good sprint up the hill but with no one in sight there was nothing to bring out that epic effort where every single muscle in your body is flexed, mouth is open and inhaling is harder than breathing in Toronto.
Not ponying up the cash for a big ring might have been the wrong decision, but I couldn't bring myself to spending another 260 bucks on a freakin chain ring for the second time in a year, I just couldn't do it. Oh well, I'm already fired up for next year's race and despite the circumstances, I finished 18th... AGAIN. Another goal failed, but I'm happy with the effort I put in and I'm thinking a top 10 isn't unrealistic for next year, but I'm not one for long-term thinking so who knows?
Big thanks to everyone who helped put on such a great event and to Marv for building some more sweet trails, that guy is awesome.
Solid rides to De Cal and Etzl for top 10's, amazing.