Criterium Canada Cup
The weekend started off with a 1:00 p.m. departure from Barrie on Thursday with the Ontario team. I was invited as a "Role Model" which was quickly shortened to RM. To help give the young guns a little guidance and a few "when I was your age….." speeches.
After losing to Kevin Simms in License plate poker, stereotype the driver, and the song game we arrived at the Bromont Cycling centre at 9:00 p.m. Basically we all the just crashed and got some sleep.
Friday was the typical pre-ride day, we did a nice group lap which took about 17 minutes with stops. The lap was a 4km nascar style course. With 96% of the climbing in the first 6 minutes. Then some rolling singletrack before coming back to the climb for a total lap time of 14 minutes. The race would be 8 laps even after my best efforts to make it 9 to stay in line with UCI regulations. We came back and feasted on pre race food. I had the opportunity to sit in with coaches Nick Vipond and Kevin Simms as they had one on one meetings with all the athletes.
Morning of the race, I was pleasantly surprised to see the weather report say no rain, something that is basically unheard of at this race. I had my usual breakfast of coffee and a little bit of food. And we headed over to the race site. The race was scheduled to start at noon……but since we are in a different country they decided maybe 12:30 would be better. After chilling in the ontario team tent for a bit (p.s. there is a shortage of chairs) At 12:15 we headed over to the staging area for call up. Racing for team Ontario in this wave was Ryan Atkins, Jacob, Fry, myself as the seniors. Ben Blake, Tyson Wagler, John Fischer, and Zach hughes as juniors men. Jane Thomson, and Ashley Barson would be the Junior Women.
The cadets, Mitch Bailey, Preston Wagler, Natasha Oldcorn and Cayley Brooks raced at 10. All with some great results, Mitch had a little bad luck and had to run it in with a knee the size of a football but he finished.
The race started off as usual kinda fast but actually not fast enough. I got boxed out and found myself doing trackstands up the first climb. Mike Garrigan charged up the first climb but the rest of the field held back which caused chaos in the middle of the group. I reached the top of the first climb in 15th ish, and headed down the ultra sketchy ski hill in a cloud of dust to the second climb of the lap a 2-minute grind up the singletrack. I think I passed on or two people on this one and was definitely in the top15 going into the single track section. The next couple laps I just though pacing was key to make sure I didn’t blow up on the 6th lap. I rode behind Marty for a couple laps just inside the top ten. About halfway through I shifted down a gear and "Attacked" Marty and built a bit of a gap, while going past a few fading riders and Matt Toulouse who flatted his 300 gram tires. I found myself in 4th place for the last two laps. Which is pretty much where I stayed. I think the thing that kept me going was trying to guess who would give me my bottle on the next lap. We recruited the Cadets to feed us and they took turns so each lap it was someone new. I rolled in for 4th which was my best first Canada cup in about three years. I also think it was the toughest course I have ever raced on.
We capped off the evening with a nice long meal at the golden retriever restaurant, were they do not serve golden Retriever.
I would like to thank the lords of Kobol, the OCA for giving me some wicked on site support, The Barrie Cycling Club for their support.
"Andrew are we on the 4th lap?"
"No, we are on the 3rd"