what a day, the Real Deal racing crew knows how to make you hurt on a bike. Picture Paris to Ancaster, but over twice as long, 6 times more climbing and a rail trail of doom that makes the crank the shield trail look tame....then do it on a cross bike with the narrowest tires you have.... with full road teams.
The atmosphere was relaxed yet you could still tell it was going to be a hard day. Pretty much right from the gun there were attacks....I should say Anton attacked. The first 60% was broken up with off road sections, which were short enough and flat enough to not really break things up too much.
The big break up happened on the rail trail of doom, well actually the vehicle control barriers, which required a dismount and threading your bike through these gates which I'm pretty sure were stolen from a supermax prison.
After two sets of these gates and not being in the first 10 guys to go through them, that was about it. Jet Fuel and Cervelo/octto both had two riders in there and a few individuals. Actually Cam was in there too but flatted. Shame cause he was the most Pro of anyone in the race for sure.
Came out of the rail trail solo(ish) had a guy on my wheel doing a few pulls, but he opted to wait for the group. Smart, but I'm too stubborn for that. Had a little over 45km of road left, 30 seconds behind a group of 8 or 9, NBD.
The group was putting seconds into me not minutes so I kept trucking, saw Tim C come off the group, rode up to him. We switched off a bit, caught Joe G on some gravel, he said he was done and to keep going if I wanted, I was like no worries just finishing it up. By this time the leaders were out of sight,
With about 8km to go I completely cracked, and told Joe to keep going if he wanted. He dragged me to the finish. If he hadn't I would have stopped with about 3km to go and had a nap.
Think I was around 10th ish.
Great day on the bike, some hard efforts, with some great people.
This is not an event to be missed, the Heck of the North would have been a lot of fun as well I'm sure.