Dave...Don't hold your breath waiting for my posts.
So my annual tradition since 2007 is behind us again. I mean Bikes on Broadway, my only annual road race where I'm not expected to make the race. The race where you expect to race in summer weather since it's end of May. The only Cat 1/2 road race "near" Winnipeg on this side of the border. This year the race was surprising in many ways.
It didn't look too bad when we took off from Daniel's house at 7:30ish on Saturday morning. The mighty iPhone was promising +18 and cloudy and we were on schedule. Of course it started pissing little bit before Regina and by the time we hit HWY 11, it was pretty much pouring and the wind was so called "laivankansituuli" or similar to the wind you experience on a cruise boat deck while sailing on Baltic Sea in February. We finally arrived in Saskatoon at 3 PM local time, checked in to U of S dorms, took our bikes in and headed to the registration via Starbucks. By this time, the weather had turned pretty miserable. Start times were a nice bonus this year, but I guess that cost Daniel's warm-up because we didn't really want to spend too much time in the rain and cut our schedule bit too short.
The TT was a TT. I suck! When the weather is +7, 50 km/h headwind and pouring rain, I suck even more. I should be fine with all the insulation I nurture with beer and food, but nope. I wanted to start slow and failed miserably, I couldn't spin...all in all it didn't go well. Daniel did pretty good beating me by 30 seconds and Tim was 15 seconds faster than me. I assumed the winning time to be around 13 minutes, but Chris McNeil hammered through the course in 12:32. Bruce Copeland was second at 12:56 and he came past me as if he was sprinting to the line. I thought that the race was done after the TT.
Sunday dawned miserable. The race wasn't going to be long, just 120km and there was just two hills both ways over the river. The wind was still there, but it was headwind-tailwind so whole lot less interesting than crosswind. I was expecting ERTC to put the hammer down from the gun and use the 10k crosswind to do something. That didn't happen, but they let me and few other guys go. Of course there was an H&R guy marking us, two ERTC guys and Chris from Saskatoon. I felt that I was doing a fair share of work and the others seemed to be kind of coasting along and we never got more than a minute something gap. It's the same story every time at BoB, it's the TT and then just sucking wheels for two days. Some 60 km to go the triathlete of the two Edmonton guys, the one who wasn't too interested in working before, decided to attack and H&R guy went with him. Triathlete was pretty confident attacking that far away with the bunch right behind us.Too much Paris-Roubaix and Fabian for you mister is all I have to say. Luckily they didn't ride too fast and I managed to pull them back after few km's. Then came the ballsy and unexpected move, or simply a lucky accident, when five ERTC guys managed to sneak away from the chase group and bridge to the break. Heading back into the wind, I was sure that the group would come together because our front group couldn't really get things going, but the gap kept growing. Some 30km to go ERTC decided to start attacking, trying to shake us off their wheel. They got rid of couple of their own guys quite soon, but there was no way that the H&R guy got dropped after taking it easy all day. 15 km to go the ERTC guys put some pressure on in bit of a crosswind, and that proved to be too much for me and Chris. I watched in amazement how one ERTC guy was riding away with H&R guy and three other ERTC's chasing. We lost 1 minute over the last 10 km so not too great. 100 km went with no problem but after that my legs started to cramp. I may need to do some longer rides before the nationals...if I'm allowed to start that race. Well...what am I supposed to do after I loose 2 minutes in a short TT? I have to attack and try to take time back.
Third stage was the crit. Four corners and short straights. Usually not much happens here, but this year was bit different. H&R block guy from previous day's break was leading the GC so ERTC's job was to put the hammer down. The race started at an OK pace and I was hoping for lots of attacks. No attacks...ERTC let one of their guys go and then blocked the road with 8 guys. I know...you may see this in cadet races and I must admit that I have taken part to this myself as well, as a cadet... So by this time ERTC formed the majority of the bunch and was really putting the brakes on. I tried to get a chase group going once with Chris and once or twice on my own, but ERTC was pretty good at shutting things down. The lone break lapped us and the race was over. You loose when you snooze. But in my frustration I managed to have a run in with one of the ERTC guys. He had even shorter fuse than I have and that's generally not a good match. Long story short...lots of barking, no biting, and I felt like an idiot. I'm the guy who should know by now to not loose his cool no matter what and not to try to egg someone to make the first move.
Well it was an OK training weekend.
Going forward...I still haven't heard back from MCA/CCA whether I will be allowed to start at the nationals or not. I should be allowed to start, but you never know and you won't know if you don't dig out the information from somewhere. It's not that far away anymore and I would need to start looking for flights, hotels etc.
I will adjust training the normal way. Higher intensity, less volume, trying to get the top end where I want. Low end is there but the high end seems to needs some work. Unfortunately I have no road races lined up before nationals. Too bad I can't make US races to work either. Need to figure out something.
Now I need to go to bed and get rested for weekend of trainer riding because the weather will be miserable.
The smart, witty and not self centered blog post is still slow cooking so bare with me.