Saturday morning I got up and got ready for the race ahead. The sun was shining for the course was primed for probably the driest fastest its ever been. After a good warmup I lined up on the front row, and the race started in short order.
I settled into the top five for the first open section, a couple guys pinned it and and I entered the singletrack just within the top ten. I found a nice rhythm and climbed conservatively on the first lap. The first decent was fairly sane and I was able to recover quite a bit. As we came to the bike path I was in a good sized group containing the blue boys, a couple trek boys, Eric and Peter, and Troy Wells came by and took charge at the front through town.
Heading onto the second lap I knew Peter was on my wheel, and when I made my "move" I was counting on him coming with me so we could ride a good tempo. Coming up to the bridge over the DH course I moved to the front, passing the Blue boys and Wells, I opened up a bit off a gap through the next section with a solid line. The section before the two stage climb I bobbled a bit and lost some time, but hit the climb still with a gap. At that point I thought Peter didn’t make it by and I would see him after the decent. I hit the decent and rode a comfortable pace down it. I was riding my hardtail so I had to really focus on my lines and keep the bike under me. I knew there was a rider about 10 seconds back and by the noise(or lack thereof, you know you OCD when you can pick out a bike by the noise it makes) I knew it wasn’t Peter. When I hit the bike path and entered town Wells caught me and went by cruising on his 29’er.
Heading onto the third lap, I think the effort to catch me weighed heavy on his legs and I was passed him quickly and opened a gap leading through the feedzone. I could also see 3rd and 4th just up the trail which was Widmer and Gagne. I closed up to them on the two stage climb, riding within myself not wanting to kill myself to catch them too quickly and blow up.
Lapping through for the 4th lap, I was about 10-15 seconds closer I kept my pace up and worked the Hardtail good on the climb. I reached the duo by the top and entered the singletrack on Widmers wheel. We also started lapping some people and I got caught up behind a couple and played it safe to avoid a junior/elite heap on the ground. I hit the bike path a few seconds back but it didn’t take long to close it down.
Starting the 5th lap I went by and cranked it, as I grapped my second last bottle I could see 2nd place Hadley about 45 seconds up, he looked back and that was that. When I hit the two stage climb I could see he had cranked it up a bit and put some time into me. The decent was starting to wear on me and I had really concentrate on being relaxed or else my teeth were going to rattle out.
Heading onto my last lap I kept my legs going and and really worked the climb knowing the decent would be a relatively slow portion for me on the last time down. I drilled it right to the line and felt strong crossing in 3rd. A solid race, the bike was awesome, Matt asked the question before we started how Havy can make our bikes feel brand new again every race. Its crazy. Kyle from Norco also was a huge help at the race even giving my bike a post race scrub.
The rest of the team did awesome as well. Stu was still sidelined with his leg injury but he was out cheering us on, in between getting as many numbers as he could.
Post race interview
Caroline was 3rd, just 4 seconds ahead of Catherine in the womens race.
Zach hughes, our young gun was 26th and top 5 U-23. Matt rode a solid race and has some of his own good stories to finish 43rd.
Oh and I discovered after the race that Glassford was on the move but flatted shortly after, which was a bummer as I think he had some solid legs and we could have had a good o-cup esque battle.
We had a solid dinner before watching the Red Bull mountain stoked, thing, it was pretty neat but a little long, I think a 60 minute race would be more exciting.
I called it an early night and got to bed for a good nights sleep. I slept in a little bit had some breakfast, and Matt, Zach and I headed out for a nice spin before stopping for some coffee.
After getting cleaned up we walked over to hang out at the trailer as the DH race was going on. Zach and I got the brilliant idea to try a red bull. Not good, it made me feel very weird, I think it should be illegal. Zach commented that his heart hurt.
We headed up the hill a bit to get close to the elites come down and cheer on Hans Lambert our dh’er teammate. He hauled by us pedaling all the way, where most of the other guys were coasting. He almost bailed at the finish line but held onto the win. So that was the icing on the cake for the Norco team this weekend.
Monday we headed to Petawawa for a bike demo. When we arrived all the jokes stopped when the Norco rep Nat and the store owner asked if we had bug spray. I could tell that we were in for a treat.
The demo went well the bugs weren’t too bad. The highlight was our third lap slow race, which resulted in many Cole trickle passes and our tires being buzzed down to almost nothing. Zach had a nice pass but my over a 4 foot fallen tree cyclocross pass took the cake.
After a solid tex mex dinner in Pembroke we headed to the Best Western for a good nights sleep. Zach lost the coin toss and I got a bed to myself.
Zach and I opted to sleep in (big surprise) and Matt, Kevin, and Nat headed back to the trails at 7:30 for a couple hours of riding.
By noon we were loaded up and headed back to the GTA, I got home at 4:30 ish, after a quick dinner I was out the door to get a good road ride in with the BCC. It was a chilly windy night but 16 people still braved it for a solid south end ride. The finish was awesome as there really was no finish line, it just kept going, basically a race to each light to see if the rest of the group would get caught behind it. Astroboy made the move of the night by hoping on a bumper of a minivan down kempenfelt. I kept the pressure on and not lossing my cool hopped on the bike path to cut off a couple hundred meters to take the coffee shop win. Astro called it dirty but anything goes on a Tuesday night.
Today I headed to Hardwood to turn some rainy laps of the canada cup course. The first lap was good almost tacky but each lap got wetter and sketchier until it was getting scary to ride. I survived to make it back to the car.
Now im kicking back, and I have some catching up to do with Prison Break, and Lost,
Also be sure to check out the new Norco Factory team site please no requests for autographs though......