Monday, September 8, 2008

Ontario Cup Provincial Championships

Ya summer is coming to a close. This brought everyone north to my backyard. Mountainview Ski Hill hosts the world!!!! Ok, maybe not the world but a really big province? Either way it was great to see Mountainview turned into the hot spot for the weekend.

So how was the weekend for me? Well I kinda pushed the limits a bit on Saturday. My 2.5 hour ride turned into about 4.5 hours. Every time I was ready to cruise home I meet up with the next round of friends and did a lap with them. Of course there was lots of standing around time.

I also managed to get all the crashes out of me on Saturday along with all the flats that I could possibly have. Better than on race day. It was very interesting hearing every ones comments on the course. Especially the ones made before they road it and then after the fact. There were a few people whining. The best description I could come up with Kelso with the technical of Buckwallow. In other words the strongest all around rider was going to win.

I was actually feeling pretty good. This was still a training ride for me but of course you want to ride well in your hometown. So did every other Mountainview Cycling Club member. First the provincials then the world (brah hahahha in the best Dr. Evil voice) Ok a little over the top.

It's amazing how 24 hours later the course can change. Saturday the course was as slippery as grease with the dry trail. I was opting to run a mud tire on the front. Sunday morning came around and so did the rain! HMMMM could be interesting.

Was up to the venue early to do feed zone for Dr. Bill and cheer on everyone racing early. The rain continued intermittently but the course just sucked it up.

By the time the 9:30 riders were getting ready to roll it was raining steady. Lee showed up with his kick ass single speed. These are the coolest wheels.

I think he should have road this bike for his race. Would have made it fair for everyone else. More on that later.

The start of our course was just down right cruel. Right up the the ski hill. Dr. Bill and Mark Matthews heading up.

For the singlespeeders, ummm pain? Thomas Wood and Davis Ross represented Mountainview and tore up the course. The club was well represented in the 9:30 start with John Webb taking the win in the Master 45-49, Dr. Bill taking 3rd in the 40-44, Mark Matthews finished close in 5th. Thomas and Davis finished 4th and 5th less than 10 seconds apart. Dale Wood finished 4th in the 50-59 and Erin Wood kicked ass in the Women's 20-29 sport finishing 4th also. Great result in her first year racing.

I'll get to my race shortly. the 1:30 start had some of the best racers in the country lined up. Andrew Watson tore up the course and moved from 6th to 3rd in the 2nd last lap. Brett Matthews finished 2nd behind national champion Mitch Bailey. Unfortunately Brett got hung up in lapped traffic on the first lap and Mitch was able to put a huge gap on him that he was unable to take back. There were not that many places to pass on this course. Ed Hunt made a return appearance to the cycling scene. A 24 hour Hall of Famer, The first ever solo rider decide to check his legs after not racing for 10 years. He is a former world cup rider. The Mountainview club is pretty deep in talent.

Speaking of. Lee Symmes decided to move up to Expert for the finals instead of waiting till next year. He said that he didn't want the pressure of trying to win. He figured that he would finish mid pack. He destroyed the pack. He won the Expert 20-29 by almost 3 minutes riding his 5 inch travel trail bike. You should see him go on his hardtail. Congrats Lee, I think they will be pushing you up to Elite by mid season 2009.

So my race. I felt good, great warm up. hit the line about 3 minutes before the start. Staged myself at the front. Because of the lack of passing and the steepness of the start I wanted to leave at the front. Of course it was still drizzling so the top of the hill was getting pretty slick. Hammered out of the gate and stayed in the top 6-7 at the top of the hill. Had to run the last 20 feet when I got stalled up. Still where I wanted to be. Dave Enns was right in front of me and Terry Dean was in sight. Teammate Jeff Buchan was gone. I expected him to win today. He did. Through the first downhill section I was trying not to slam into the back of the riders. They were on their brakes, alot. Perks of knowing the course. Next climb picked off 2 more riders and sat in 5th with Dave in front of me. My plan was to pace with him this lap, take it a bit saner on the 2nd lap then pour it on on the last one.

Through the first lap I sat with him as we swapped back in fourth with the lead. Of course lapped traffic became a real problem early. Less than 10 minutes into the lap we were catching slower riders from the other 2 starts. Of course this slowed us up alot.

Came through the timing tent feeling good and hit the feed zone. had a few feet on Dave but he is a strong climber and got in front of me by the time we hit the top of the ski hill. No worries, I wanted to conserve the legs for the last lap. Keep him in sight is all I wanted to do. I knew I would put time into him on the downhills. On this course if you knew it you could gain huge time in the technical sections.

Starting the 3rd lap I was feeling good. Hammer down. This was a much faster lap and I had some open track. I really started pushing in the singletrack and started to pull him in. Dave also crashed. Of course this shook him up and I was able to work him. I started to strategies what to do. I think I should have just pedalled. I led going into the last off camber section but we got stalled up behind some other division riders.

Ok, it's going to be a sprint to the line. I went and Dave was on my wheel. I had the right line and swung wide holding my speed. I didn't get the jump I needed and the two riders in front of me cut over and I was forced to soft pedal or hit them. Dave had the same option. He took the later, I took the first option. He snuck his wheel in front of me at the line as he hit the rider in front of him. I finished 5th. I'm content with my result. Great battle with Dave. Terry finished 2nd.

It was great playing in the O-cup this year. Next season I'll be in the division I wanted to start in. Stronger riders, longer race. Better for what I do. Of course the boys I played with this season will all be up there too which means round 2.

I still have one more solo with the Hardwood 8 hour in a couple weeks. Should be fun. Gotta roll, recovery ride and physio. I'm a little sore today.

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