The weekend started out with a little pre-ride of the course on Friday afternoon. The race this weekend was held at Albion Hills conservation area just north of Bolton. A fairly fast course with a long of short punchy climbs, and a few tight pieces of singletrack. And of course the infamous Green Monster a 100 meter(ish) long middle ring grind.
I arrived a little bit earlier than normal on Sunday and watched the 11:30 races start, and began the hunt for a feeder. Since my Mom had to work, I don’t think mothers should have to work on mothers’ day. They should be at the kids bike races feeding them. My search proved fruitful with securing the services of Kevin Haviland, if he had a dollar for every time he has helped me out, he would have a lot of dollars. The day was a little on the chilly side, with overcast skies and a cool breeze.
I was a little unsure of my legs so I started conservatively, and just tried to settle into the pace of the race. The first half lap saw a flurry of attacks, most notably Cam Jette, who took a page out of the Zach Winn handbook and launched a very intimidating burst of speed. My legs felt a little heavy and I was hoping the pace would blow out the cobwebs, after the green monster a lead group of 5 formed. Mike G, Zandstra, Morka, Batty and myself. After coming back down off the green monster my legs were just not recovering as fast as I had hoped. I switched onto cruise control and lost contact with the lead group. It wasn’t long before I was collected by Pete "grizzly" Glassford. Knowing Pete would ride a steady pace I latched onto his wheel. I’ve always struggled a little at Albion, it’s a great course but I have trouble finding a good rhythm on it so it was nice to follow a wheel around. The gap grew to about a minute thirty to the leaders in the first two laps. Which is where it pretty much stayed for the final three, well at least for Peter. On the fourth lap Pete and Myself moved to 4th and 5th with Zandstra and Morka leading, and Mike G somewhere in between. I was excited to start the final lap, knowing it would only hurt for another 25 minutes, and hurt it did. I knew that if I could get up the green monster without blowing I could roll the rest pretty good. Which is pretty much what happened With Pete cracking the whip and shedding me ¾ of the way up. From there it was just about damage control, with the race going over two hours (a rare thing these days) I could feel my endurance being tested. Nearing the finish line I saw Brendan Matheson, senior expert contender, just ahead of me I thought just get to his wheel and he’ll pull me in. Nope he pulled over and wanted to hop on my wheel (slacker).
I rolled in for fifth, 2:16 back, I’m not exactly thrilled about the position, but I think it could have been worse. I really wanted to win it for my mom, but I think everybody had the same idea.
A big thanks to my mother, Maria, for giving birth to me a quarter century ago, Kevin Haviland for the feeds, The BCC for their support, and others.
Next up, a trip to Quebec for the first two rounds of the Canada Cup series at Bromont on Saturday followed a week later by Tremblant. I’ve been invited on the OCA Development Project for the two races as a "Role Model". I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to impart some wisdom on some younger riders. Something I was lucky enough to have as a younger rider, which helped me a lot.
"i can't think of anything"