My third mid September weekend of racing through the Haliburton area on a mtb is over again. After taking a year off from it the Chico racing boys (and many many volunteers) pulled of the best crank yet(out of 08,10, 12).
Day 1: It rained, a lot, the course held up though pretty well and was still nothing like day 1 of previous years. My legs were a little medium when we started, probably the long ride wednesday and nothing on Thursday. Didn't help that my teammate was riding in the top 5 and I had to catch up to her. After a while my legs started to come around, Haley and I found ourselves in a bit of no mans land for the rest of the stage. Rolling into camp white pine was welcome, neither of us were all that tired, but we just wanted to get the stage done so we could enjoy the last two sunny days. To finish most teams hold hands, not Haley and I, basically an all out TDF France sprint, she got Day 1 after cutting me off. We finished in the top 15 overall and first in the mixed team.
Day 2: Woke up, it was a little chilly, that cold front brought some nice clear chilly weather with it. Massive feast for breaky and then we lined up in a Hyrocut for easily the most enjoyable crank course to date. Started off with some really awesome singletrack, then more singletrack, then some road then more singletrack. With a comfortable lead in our respective categories, Haley and Cayley decided we would all ride together (I didn't get a say in this apparently) The sun eventually warmed things up and the day turned into a perfect race day. Road sections basically had me at the front with the girls gabbing about boys behind me, but whatever I was checking out the beautiful scenery and taking all the blue signs. After 66km of the 80km course? we finished with a sprint once again, Haley once again scored, after I was confused with the distance. Great day on the bike.
Day 3: really freaking cold in the morning, without anything really heated at the summer camp everyone ate fast to get on their bikes for the 15km ride to Sir Sams and their winterized heated chalet. Up front Norco teammate Lespy was having trouble taking on the 4 3rox riders by himself with them utilizing their numbers. So off the start I opted to try and lead Lespy out for a solo stage, plan worked like a charm and by the end of sir sams Lespy had a decent gap. After being scolded by Chico for leaving my teammate I drifted back, by the road to the hydrocut we were back together. The temperature was rising fast and by the time we got back offroad it was another beauty day. Cayley jumped onto another group of riders but I had a feeling they were killing themselves on the pavement. So we just chilled, once we got offroad Haley went to the front and just started weaving through riders like mad. If Haliburton was a strava segment I think we would have crushed it. Finished off super strong through Normac to the finish were I finally took the sprint. (winning)
We won our cat each day and took the overall, which was great but we also rode in the top 15 overall each day which I think was awesome. Haley was an awesome race partner, my Norco Phaser once again proved to be an amazing crank the shield bike.
Glad I was at the first and final CTS, it evolved a lot over the 4 years it ran, but one thing that always stayed the same was the awesome people. Both riding partners, and new people you meet along the way.
moving on :(