Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 1,”the hurt locker” as Scott Kelly would say….from the sidelines…holding a beer.

Woke up, went for a morning spin, took a flick(year one) (pretty good) back to blockbuster, two birds one stone.

Had a solid breaky, and got some food ready to take down. Got packed up, then just relaxed with the feet up for a while watching a little superman returns. After watching a bit of Cast Away, way to depressing.

Loaded up the AWI, racing vehicle with the team photographer, and mascot. After not trusting my directions, we arrived, I’ve learned by experience that there is no westbound Ranforth exit, and you have to get off at carlingview. But year after year they keep writing that for the directions.

Got signed in, the day was perfect, chilly but the sun was warm, course was dry almost dusty. I was able to sneek onto the course before the womens race for a lap, didn’t get vary far before I rolled my tubular off, first time ever, though to be honest it was more of a hitting it off on the stairs I was trying to ride. There was a guy with a video camera so it may end up on you tube or something. Rolled back to the car, and put my other heavier wheels on. I wanted to run the lighter wheels I have, they are coming to the end of their live but I figured I could get another race on them. Oh well, can’t go wrong with 1700 gram reflex/32/ultegra setup. Still waiting for those carbon tubulars to show up to ”review”……..i swear I will declare them.

Anyway, the women were off so I headed to the Sunday course on the other side of the venue to warm-up. Juice and I turned a lap or two before he disappeared, serious he was behind me then he was gone.

Good pep talk with Matt and Havy, got stuffed squared away.

Got one lap in on the course after the womens race then got lined up. Third row right in the middle not bad, behind Box, who was behind Mike so good starters.
Start wasn’t bad, nothing too crazy singled up into a nice train pretty quick. The gaps started to form even before we hit the first climb up the hill. Just started trying to jump across whenever a gap opened up and soon I found myself in the top ten coming up to the lead group, containing the Cannondale guys, St John, Schouten, Jacques-Maynes and Anthony. Came into the barriers to hear being yelling big crash, just caught the aftermath of Powers bailing really hard over the barriers. He must have been right in the middle of the group as it slowed them down enough for me to latch on.

The pace was pretty high, St. John and Johnson were at the front. I had burned about half my book of matches to get up there so I needed to just try and hang on for a lap and hope to recover. It was tough the pace on the climb was incredible. Out of the saddle sprint. I managed to stay attached and even move past Schouten.

Can’t remember when Johnson made his move but when he did he meant business, and gapped everyone quick. Driscoll was at the front and he was next to go up the course. I was still trying to get my bearings back and sat on at the back. So group of 4 Schouten, St John, Jacques-Maynes and myself. It was my turn to hit the deck, just after the barriers I was little off my line and in the loose stuff and before I knew it my front wheel was gone. Schouten got by me so I was left chasing for the next lap of so to get back on. Another ¼ of the matches burnt. Got there, and not long after moved past Jaques-Maynes who faded back.

3 left, I was looking at a top 5, podium spot if I could at least hold on. Matt was yelling at me like a mad man and I knew I had to try for the top 3. I attacked hard with 1.5 to go, got past St John, but couldn’t put any real estate between us. Led until the second part of the climb, I drifted wide, getting tired and opened it up for him to get by and attack hard on the left side. I buried it, but he put time into me across the top. Quickly running out of ground took a risk or two on the decent and narrowed the gap. I knew I couldn’t out power him into the finish but I wasn’t going to pack it in either.

On a fast right hander, he slid out which opened it up for me to get by. I only had a few feet, I had used my entire Kyle Fry issue match book, but I stuck it in the big ring and hammered out the last couple corners and straight, holding onto a few seconds. Definitely the hardest fought cross battle I have ever done.

Started to put time into 2nd, but I’m pretty sure he just cruised the last lap, saving a little for tomorrow, Johnson was 35 seconds up.

Huge thanks to all the people yelling and chearing, had some Barrie and area guys come down to watch which was great. Matt P for holding my bike like a pro and not letting me let up an inch, Pete for keeping Matt in line. The Scandium Norco loved going up and down that hill too, it has that down part in its blood I just have to sit back and relax it just steers itself.

Up next bed, race is earlier tomorrow so out a hear a little earlier too. It’s a totally different style course, out of two times I’ve never been able to put it all together on it. But im looking forward to it.

"At least you didn't swear when you crashed"


jvk said...

Great ride on Saturday. Well done sir.

Darren said...

Congrats Watson... well done man!