National Championships Road Race

June 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Race report | Leave a comment

Sometimes you put it all on the line and it works and sometimes it doesn’t…

Yesterday was the National Championships Road Race in my hometown of Edmonton.

I didn’t really have aspirations of winning the race and I knew that the 182km was going to wear on me, so I was definitely conserving as much as I could for the first 100km or so. The first few laps were hard as the break was establishing itself and then it settled down nicely. Now it was just sit and wait for the big attacks. Those accelerations started coming at about 110km, but there were still lots of big guys in the pack.

There wasn’t really a chase and the gap to the break wasn’t really coming down, so I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. The last few laps got pretty hard and I missed a split with a big group of strong guys getting off the front.

The group I was in all but sat up and we rolled through with 3 laps to go. I didn’t really want to sprint for 40th, so I jumped on the first climb of that lap. There were a few solo riders in no-man’s land and we came together for a bit. On the last lap I was rolling strong and about to catch back up to that second big group on the road when the group behind caught me and I just couldn’t get back on. I had nothing left and just made it to the line.

In hindsight, those 2 big groups came back together and I could have conserved and maybe sprinted for 33rd, but even then… I put in the dig (Scott and Bunnin were able to ride in solo for 31st and 32nd) and I tried.

Big congrats to Will, who rode a great race to take the jersey. I read a great quote from him on podiuminsight.com:

“The race started pretty aggressive right off the bat. Guys were trying a lot of attacks,” said Routley after the race. “It means a lot to win the Red and White jersey. I have been working at this since my mountain bike days as a junior. I have been on the podium in mountain bike and road, but I’ve been chasing this for ten years. It’s hard to believe.”

And some good post-race interviews over at bikealberta.com.

Thanks to everyone who was involved with the organization, the volunteers, and everyone who came out to watch and cheer! We wouldn’t be here without you!

::SAdamson

Velocity Stage Race

May 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Race report | Leave a comment

It was nice knowing that I would get to race the Velocity Stage Race, the first major race of the Alberta road season, before I headed out to Ottawa. As I write this I have clothes and stuff all over my room getting ready to be put in my bag for tomorrow.

I finally finished putting my TT bike together Friday morning and rode it work and back to make sure everything was working, but man was my back going to be sore!

The Saturday morning time trial was set with little wind and sunny, somewhat warm skies. It was going to be good. No Bruce, no Jamie, not sure who was actually going to take it. I guess it wasn’t a surprise that Chris won with a 21″ buffer. I managed to ride my way into 4th.

I came home, too amped to have a nap, but I had lots of time before I had to leave for the crit. Then in the hour before it was time to go I started getting really tired… oops.

The crit was relatively uneventful. I think there was one crash and a couple close calls; Nick J clipped a pedal in the last corner with a few laps to go and almost ate a lot of pavement. No major breaks, a couple good attacks, but nothing stuck. I wasn’t too worried about the sprint, but Mack and Peter set me up pretty well and I finished 4th again.

Now is where the title of this post comes into play. Over the last few years I have had pretty good time trials, usually putting me somewhere in the top 5, but never at the top. I found this left me far enough up to not risk too much, but far enough down that I wasn’t going to win. So I spent Saturday night and Sunday morning trying to figure what was going to happen in the road race and how I was going torisk losing in order to win. I didn’t want to finish 4th again!

I didn’t really have it figured out going into the day, but I was feeling pretty good. Peter and Mack were both willing to sacrifice themselves to help me and cover attacks and anything else that might be necessary. Thanks guys!!

The first couple laps had hard parts with a break trying to establish itself and eventually a group of 3 got away, with Nick J, MarMac, and ERTC (I forget who it was now). Their gap was never huge, but it could have been a threat if nobody was willing to chase. From there the race was relatively uneventful with H&R Block’s strength and ERTC’s power in numbers mostly roaming the front. Only the usual northbound crosswind section was typically difficult.

On the 5th lap, the break was coming back and we were coming into the big crosswind section so I knew it was going to be tough. All the strong guys started throwing in attacks and a couple could have been been threatening, but nothing stuck. The last lap wasn’t too bad, with a few more relatively fruitless attacks, until another group of 3 rolled away. This time I had Peter up there and there was no green. It wasn’t really a GC threat and, but solid enough that I didn’t have to do anything. The crosswind section wasn’t too bad as a few H&Rs worked to slowly bring back the 3 leaders. There were a few more attacks, but I think most people were waiting.

I was watching Dan, Kris, Chris, Bunnin for any attacks, but nothing came. Just before the last corner Aaron threw in an acceleration and I jumped on it. I sat there for a second, but when I looked back and saw some space I jumped again and caught the 3, yelling at Peter to go if he had anything left. Jon jumped from that group as well, but I think I was already going pretty fast. I just kept going as hard as I possibly could, grabbing gears and standing up whenever I felt myself slow down. I kept thinking I was going to get caught and kept looking back, but I saw 1000m and then I saw the next sign and thought 200m, I can do it!!! But it was 500m… oh boy… Just keep pushing. I held it to the line!!! I was super excited, but kept pushing for every second I could get on GC and didn’t really know what to do when I crossed the line… (maybe I should win more bike races…)

I thought there might have been some time gaps, but I had no idea if they would be big enough. And I didn’t think there was time bonuses, but I got 10″ for the win. I was followed in by Jon and Bunnin, so now it was just wait and see. No gaps in the road race, so I was stuck in 4th… no complaints though about my form though!!

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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