RWR Clarence-Rockland Classic

April 15, 2010 at 2:27 am | Posted in Race report | Leave a comment

Today was the first race for the new Scott racing team.  We had three riders on the start line, Shawn Clarke, Luc Mahler and Marc Boudreau.  The conditions where almost perfect, the sun was out and the roads where almost 100% dry, with just a few mud patches in the shade.  The Clarence-Rockland Classic is new to the racing calendar this year but was very well attended, with almost 150 people on the start line, and was very well run by Ride with Rendall.  The course was relatively flat with a mix of paved and dirt roads; it was one 87km loop.   On the start line was a who’s who of Ottawa cycling, Ride with Rendall was there with a full team including elite National Champ Aaron Fillion.  Other pre-race favorites in the field included Derrick St. John and Osmond Bakker.

We had a pretty uneventful start, with some attacks going off the front and being chased down as the kilometers ticked on, and as per our road captain, Marc Boudreau’s orders, we tried to stay near the front while saving our selves for later in the race.  Unfortunately, after a good start roughly 25 km in Shawn flatted and his day was over.  At 30 km Marc and Luc both missed a crucial break including all of the favorites, while I was slowly struggling across the gap, Marc came across and threw me a life line pulling us both back into contention. For the next 25 km the race was essentially a stalemate as groups came back to the front pack and the pace dropped.  Then Bakker and Fillion rolled off the front and only St. John, Marc, Casey Roth and Luc were able to chase.  The 6 came together at 65 km and it stayed that way for 3 km until Fillion attacked in what proved to be the decisive move of the day. Bakker tried to bridge the initial gap and managed to get half way before Luc and St. John joined him.  Boudreau suffered and untimely puncture and was forced to roll home with a later group.  The Group of three tried to chase down a very strong Fillion but it was soon clear that the race was on for second and no longer first.  St. John also flatted with 15 km to go, leaving only Bakker and Mahler to chase with Roth in no mans land but hanging in at 20 seconds. The two got to the bottom of the final climb at 5 km to go with still only 20s on Roth and as Bakker tried to shift to the little ring he dropped his chain.  If Luc was to wait it was clear that Roth would bridge and it would be 3 people fighting for 2 podium place, and because they were so close to the finish he pushed on to seal second place 25 seconds ahead of Bakker, who out sprinted Roth for third.

Boudreau rolled in 23rd in a group containing St. John as well as they both fixed their flats and finished.  It was a great season opener for the team and we hope to have turned some heads with this result.

Next Sunday Marc and Shawn Clarke will race Calabogie, unfortunately Luc has an exam that day and can’t attend. Stay posted for news on the Calabogie race.

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