Up early, good breakfast and i was south bound to Albion Hills. The weather? Actually not that bad, for now Got to the venue, did my captain duties, plates, race order etc etc. Time to play.
Just before start time the normal conditions for the 2009 Ontario race season showed, it started to rain. Jacob was running first lap. Now back up a few days, remember our mind set of immature tactics for this race. Hey just because it's a bunch of Elite and Expert racers doesn't mean they don't play a little dirty. It started right off the line
We were all acting pretty good till about a minute out.
This was 30 seconds before the start, right before Stu (Norco) and Jacob (Trek/Hardwood) started beating at each other. Yep the cheap shots are starting, It's going to be a long race. Stu came through first overall, unfortunately Jacob found a great section to try and nose wheelie and ended up coming in 4th overall on the first lap.
Next out was Ben and Zach. Zach had a lead heading out then then managed to put out the fasted of the whole race on this lap. The boy was moving. Ben had a great lap.
This is where the the cheap tricks and the fear that Norco had started to show. I'm going out the same time as Mr. Watson. He would have a head start on me. Ya I really really think he would need it. But this was the worst part. Instead of just riding off to do his lap he stopped, moved my bike out and away from the rack and laid it down. He was nice enough to put it down gently with the derailleur up but after the lap and closer inspection I swear I saw Shimano cleat imprints into the carbon.
Anyways got on my bike and pretty much gave it right from the start. This is my first bought of intensity in 2 weeks. Ya I was expecting things to hurt. It was pretty good though, a bit of lapped traffic but overall a clean lap just over 42 minutes. Hand off the timing chip and I'm off for some downtime. Ya totally new concept for me.
Things were going good when Mother Nature decided to say screw you little cyclist people and open up the rain clouds. It didn't rain long but long enough to turn the course into a mud pit. Let's just say that the flash backs to Summer Solstice started showing up. Our riders were dong pretty good in the rain but we suffered a broken chain which dropped up back to third. No worries still many hour to go.
I rolled up to transition a few hours later for my lap. Who seems to be there, that Watson fella this time trying to block my bike with his. See and we thought it would be us doing the cheap parlor tricks to get an advantage. This was the first of my night laps, things were still slick coming down some of the double track sections. Dry tires were not a great choice but managed to slide around the course upright.
The first highlight of the night, we could see stars, no rain woo hoo. The course started to dry up Bikes were coming in cleaner. Unfortunately Norco had a pretty big gap on us by this point and it was going to be hard to gain it back. We caught the Impala/3Rox team of Cranked a few hours earlier to put us back in 2nd place.
My third lap I just shook my head after it. I totally forgot how to ride a bike. I bumped at least a half dozen trees, miss shifted going into switch back climbs where it forced me off the bike and running the climb. Oh then there was the endo over a root drop off. Ya how I managed to put my shoes on before this lap makes me wonder. Managed to get things back in check on the second half of the lap and was in in 47 minutes. I think my technical skills are similar to my legs and take a little longer to get firing most days.
Unfortunately at this point I had only been over to the Misfit dance party for a few minutes before the race and only while blasting through on a lap. It was 4am the temptation was there but the thought of actually getting a little sleep overwhelmed those other thought. I came up with a really good layout in the back of the station wagon with a little bed on one side and gear storage on the other. It was better than the tent.
At the 6.am mark Norco was a lap up on us and we were half a lap up on Cranked. Not much is going to change now. The course dried up and lap times began to drop and the time left was counting down. Hmmm we need to start something soon. Our late night attempt at water balloons attacks of the Norco trailer failed when they wouldn't pop. They just bounced, there was only one concussion. We will need to come up with a great plan.
Went out on what would be my last lap around 10am. Time to leave the legs out there. Hammered the first half of the course at a pretty hard pace when I caught up with one of the Hardwood Devo riders. J.D. your keeping up with me for the rest of the lap, alright. I'm not sure who pushed who harder? The big double track sections he tucked into my draft and we kept pushing one another in the single track. He was pushing good. We crossed the line with J.D. puling a 52 minute and me with a 44 minute. To bad I didn't catch him earlier. This kid is fast when you push him a little.
With the time ticking down on one more effort of revenge my little evil mind started. Hey Andrew is doing last lap. That was all it took to get the whole team on board. We all took our spots on the top of the hill. With a little help from an unnamed event organizer (Sean Ruppel) the stage was set for the next few photos.
There were no Norco riders to be found anywhere and Cory Hancock from the 3 Rox was smart to just stay out of it and let Andrew get what he deserved. There are no bruises in places that are visible.
The race finished up with Norco taking the win, us in 2nd and Cranked in third. Here are the full results. It was a great weekend of riding and a few beers were drank. There will be some stories to tell tonight on the Monday night something ride that will include that shady Norco rider.
In the end it was a great event. Adam and Sean put on a great show. Some riders who bailed on the race missed out on an amazing event. One of the best courses, kinda wish I was solo at this one. That's one more weekend gone in the count down to the grand finalle of the 2009 season.