photos by Hans Clarke:
What a weekend all around, not a great finish by any means but nothing but smiles after. Having your two youngest teamates take their first Canada Cup wins helps a little bit.
Sean Ruppel of Superfly racing did a bang up job of the course, hard climbs, techincal features that required a goo deal of focus while your red-lined. Ride arounds that are perfectly timed so that its a few seconds slower but not so slow that a rider is going to walk the A line. Race courses are an art I think Sean and Glenn for this weekends race at Hardwood are right up there with Piccasso and Da Vinci.
Saturday was a busy day with several laps with the young guys I coach, 1 lap by myself to try and get a little bit into the zone, and then it was a quick change into my finest attire to head to my good friends wedding not far from Horseshoe. Congrats Matt and Hayley I'm sure Waubashene will never be the same again.
Sunday morning I was up early on the bike at 7:45 to warmup with the young guys again, it was really cool to warmup on the trails we ride every Tuesday night in the Copeland. I think it helped relax them just that little bit before their short intense race.
Wasn't long before it was my time to get dressed up in the Norco skinsuit, let Havy finish up his magic to the Revolver 7 Full Suspension we are doing some race testing with this year. I headed over into Copeland myself had to keep an eye on my watch to make sure I didn't get to far away and sucked into the beauty of that place.
The vibe at the start was fairly relaxed, I think everyone was mostly nervous about the first left hand turn. If we made it through that without crashing each other out we'd be good....... well the pack safely got around it but on the nice open straight away a racer forgot that two objects can't occupy the same space and time #science and started a Domino effect. I was able to just squeak by as riders tumbled to the side. I know its weird maybe my luck is changing. I was able to make up the gap to the two leaders E Guthrie and another rider. I took over the lead for a bit, before being overtaking by Cam J and Guthrie but Guthrie was leading into the first ST so all was well. Hung into third with Petey D on my wheel trying to stay in contact and not open any gaps he would need to close.
Warning graphic content:
By the long fireroad climb I knew I wasn't gonna hold that pace for 6 laps, Guthrie and Petey were right up there. I settled into my own rythem and a few riders came by but I stayed calm and trusted my gut. Partway into lap 2 I was with Lespy around 10th thinking this was good we could shake and bake a couple guys over the next few laps. But then had a bug, a spider, a june bug a object of some kind get caught in my throat. Attempted to cough it up, drink it down, a choking/coughing fit ensued and I had to pull off the course and let the good times roll. Made about 5 trail side stops in the next two laps, good news was I was about a KG lighter but any nutrition I had in my stomach was now gone. As always I got to the end of the race as fast as I could but we'll file that away under it'll go better next time.
Horseshoe is such a nice venue I really hope they continue to host races in the coming years, with a few course upgrades there is no reason why it couldn't host a world cup. Next up there is Marathon Nationals in September.
Gigantic congratulations to the whole Norco team, it was great, and I think this weekend will be even better.