As a famous Jackie might have said, “It was a greet, greet dey fer’ bicycle racing.”
Sunny skies, temperatures in the mid teens and fairly light winds from the NW made the start of the day seem ideal. Children played in the nearby playground while the parking lot buzzed with the hum of the fluid trainers assembled row by row in the Speed Theory compound, who had 15 riders registered in Cat5 alone.
Crankmasters was represented in Cat5 by Chris Lee, Paul Broska and yours truly and hard-man Chris Stutz was going it alone in Cat3.
As the Cat5 field rolled out of Mulhurst I was struck by the heavy smell of fear that hung over the peleton. Perhaps it was just my own personal cloud of fear, being that it was my first ABA road race? None-the-less the group seemed a bit fidgety with a number of boys up front displaying their traffic cone soccer skills through the first few turns and some pretty aggressive surging on the roads leading out of town.
Out on the main course I was enjoying a nice view from the back of the main pack until we hit the first real hill at about the 10k mark when surprise, surprise… I got dropped. Try as I might I couldn’t catch back on. Fortunately Paul and Chris stayed with the main pack as I watched them fade off into the distance.
A few km later I found myself in a trailing group with Mark Shand, Andy Hill and Rui Reis from Speed Theory and Simon Spanswick from Headwinds out of Lethbridge. Rui dropped off towards the end of the first lap and the four of us “raced” the final circuit of the course practicing pace line work and trying not to let Mark get too far ahead of us going up the hills. I’m pretty sure Mark could have dropped us anytime he wanted to.
A big thank you goes out to Andy, who pulled me up the final rise towards the finish. I was done like dinner.
I placed 56 out of 56 finishers. Pretty happy that I didn’t crash, have a mechanical or choke to death on a Clif Shot Blok. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon all in all.
Chris Lee had a wicked day and finished with the lead group in 8th place at 01:46:33.00. Paul Broska finished 51st in 02:11:00.00 and yours truly brought the cat in several minutes later and the officials were generous enough to give me the same time. I’m not sure how Chris Stutz’s day went in Cat3.
There were no crashes that I’m aware of in Cat5 but a nasty high speed wreck took down a number of riders in Cat1/2 including Speed Theory’s Trev Williams. Glad to hear that Trev had no broken bones just broken bike parts, although the road rash sounds really, really awful. I wish him a speedy recovery.