Crazy weekend. But i guess i'll start right back at the beginning. Saturday morning i got up at 7 to eat, pack the car up, which didn't take to long. When i checked the forecast it didn't look good. Well lets just say it looked like every other Ontario mtb race this year. Rain and good amount of it.
Headed out the ski was just starting to get darker as i drove down to Albion and got there around 9:15. Some of the team had arrived, but it was still pretty quiet. I got my tent setup quick as i was pretty sure it was going to get wet. My tent isn't the greatest so the second option was to use an air mattress and just sleep in the back of my car. Wagons rule.
As the team arrived we started thinking of the start order. Stu was out first there was no negotiating this point. Probably good as i hadn't done any intensity since Midland so i had no idea how my legs would react. The juice was off myself 3rd, the kid, kd? Matt shane.... something like that.
At about 11:30 it started to rain, not a lot but it let us know it wasn't going to be bone dry. It actually stopped for the noon start, which was a lot of fun to watch for a change, John Van Arragon was lined up in between Jacob and Stu and almost got a couple elbpws to the teeth. But they got off the line relatively clean and a lead group formed up front. Stu led it in, Jacob held the lead for about 15 seconds partway throw but crashed out of that one. Stu came in just ahead of Sam Rykoff.
The juice then killed it on his second lap to open up more of a gap, and in doing so set the fastest lap of the race.
I got kitted up for the teams 3rd lap and got a bit of a warmup in. Zach came in after already lapping a bunch of people. After making sure Spak's biek was all taken care of i was on my way. My legs felt like bricks for the first lap, i could spin ok but any incline and they were screaming at me. The traffic was pretty bad lots of riders on a short course.
I came through and handed of to the KID. then got back to clean up and eat something. The rain shortly started back up again and this time it meant business. A good solid hour, followed by another hour of heavy drizzle. The mood around Albion was pretty low, lots of sad faces. I actually overheard Adam Ruppel on the cell phone with his travel agent booking the red eye out of the toronto saturday night to Las Vegas. I believe his words were F this im going to an f'ing desert.
Shane i think had the worst lap, super greasy and came back nice and muddy, but once it stopped raining every rider that came through looked cleaner cleaner, but the course had a good amount of rain on it and the laps slowed dramatically. I'd say we averaged down about 5 minutes at least.
I got out for my 2nd lap at 8 p.m. so i had my lights burning the whole lap, my legs started to open up a bit, but it was still super slick and i was going all over the place. I did the splits once. But still managed a nice lap and handed off before heading back. We had a comfortable gap on the monday nighters who suffered a broken chain.
The plan was to start doubling up some laps, give some people a little more time in between. Since they were only 45 mins 2 laps were only 1.5 hours so not to bad.
I hit the sack and tried to get some shut eye. Only to hear Stu yelling i lost my glove i lost my glve right beside my tent. I really wasn't to concerend. The i hear Matt Paz who was handing off to Stu, "STU!" oh great Stu missed his handoff, perfect. Then i hear that we lost some time back to Brendan. But Matt was happy he held off the sun aka Ben and Jacob.
I got some sleep and woke up at 5 am. Got my light on for my double figured i'd need it my first lap. I got the chip from Boucher at around 6:35, and sure enough never had to turn my light on at all. Put in two solid laps 42's. Legs really started to feel good, the course was in good shape, traffic was low as a lot of people pull off by this point. But people were getting grumpy out on course.
Came back and started running some numbers looked like we would get two people out again for a 5th lap.
Zach took the challenge of putting in a hard 2nd last lap to get Me out on the last lap by noon. Matt did a super solid 2nd last lap, so the juice only had to do a 51 minute. I went and got kitted up. Cory Hancock was in the same boat as me, his guy had to do a fast lap to get him out to and it was going to be a close one. I said i'd wait for him and we'd ride it together.
Sure enough zach comes through just killing it. 40 minutes. Pretty sure its the fastest post rain lap. The juice was by far the fastest guy out there this weekend. Should be in good shape for provincials.
He handed off to me at about quarter too, and said get going, I said i was going to chill out, he wasn't happy. It came right down to the wire for Cory i thought i was going to be the course sweeper. But Dan Dolan had a good lap and got Cory out with 2 minutes to spare. We headed out for a our own "paris" lap, champagne laughs with the officials all that.
It was nice to just ride the lap, we road(are you reading this stu) the singletrack fastbut just chilled on the climbs and open sections, coming through the halfway point by the start finish, i caught Scott Irwin running out of the corner of my eye, and thought oh shoot. Then about 6 monday nighters came out of nowhere picked me and my bike up with me still sitting on it, its a light bike, placed me into the forrest. Infront of about 200 people, Cory was nice enought to wait but i was on my own to defend myself. A last ditch effort i guess, well played well played.
I managed to get going again, to the enjoymeant of the crowd. finished off the lap, Felt good to be done and finally win a 10 person jersey after my first 3rd place in 1998 with the drag racers.
got packed in record time and hit the podium. Won some swag in the draw prizes and got my new jersey.
I said before it wasn't just about winning it was the win/to enjoyment ratio. Not sure who won that but having a good time was way better than winning.
The team was awesome, guest riders all put up with Norco antics with patience.
Chico racing outdid themselves, Adam decided to stick aroung after all, the course was awesome and they didn't panic when it started to rain.
Quote of the day
"my bike is too long to fit around some of these corners"