Saturday, July 16, 2016

PoCo Grand Prix

Last night we contested the PoCo Grand Prix over 45 laps on a fast circuit in downtown Port Coquitlam. The pace started off quick from the gun, but after the first 15 or 20 laps I was able to make myself to the front. I was able to cover one move, but it was the counter that was the break of the day. Evan tried to bridge across, but the speed from the bunch brought him back. After that attempt I once again drifted back. It is hard to go off the front in these races, and the pace is constantly fast with all the primes. During the closing laps Silber set pace to bring back the bunch, and Oliver helped them to bring it back. Oliver rode like a champ chasing that back. I tried making my way to the front by pushing with all I had but was unable to make it to the front. In the finale I was near Evan and wanted to move him up, but the pace was too quick and chaotic for me to do that. I am unhappy with myself that I was unable to help out. It was a fun, fast circuit. I just wish I could have done something significant to help the team. Tonight we race the Tour de White Rock crit and tomorrow morning the Tour de White Rock road race. Given the short time between the two events I will not be able to post about tonight or tomorrow's road race until tomorrow evening.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Giro di Burnaby

Last night we raced the Giro di Burnaby on a technical 1.2 kilometer circuit that was downhill into a hairpin and had 4 90 degree turns at the top of the course. The race started off fast like all these races have been at Superweek, but I fought hard at the start and found my way to the front of the group. Oliver, Jonah, and I did a great job covering moves throughout the race and keeping Evan fresh for the sprint. I found it hard to maintain position after going with an attack, so it was a constant battle of attack, lose position, and fight to get back to the front again. During the closing laps we were all up near Evan trying to help him to move up. On the last lap I was a few wheels behind Evan and there was a huge pileup. I was pretty sure I was going down, but I managed to come to a stop right as I was running into a fence on the outside of the crash. Riders out of contention were still railing the turn and were piling into the pileup causing more carnage. I am not so sure what these guys were thinking. I got my bike, helped Evan and the others who crashed and were injured. Evan was pretty sore, but I think he will be ok tonight. A couple guys looked pretty rough, and I hope they are ok. The redeeming factor of the night was Jonah taking 18th place. It was a great ride for him. Tonight we race the Poco Grand Prix.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gastown Grand Prix

Last night we raced the Gastown Grand Prix, one of the most historic criteriums in North America. The atmosphere at this race is unequalled by any other. We race for 50 laps on a 1 km circuit, where two of the streets are brick, and fans are roaring all the way around the circuit. Before the event began some people were pranking by pulling fire alarms. A fire truck had to come out on course and search the building. Then another fire alarm was pulled. Our race was shortened to 40 laps, and we were warned on the start line if another fire alarm was pulled we could possibly be hearing the bell for one lap to go  at any point during the race. I got a decent start mid pack, but if the race could end any time I needed to make it to the front, so I spent the first part of the race just passing people. I was able to make it toward the front near Evan after about 8 laps. There were small moves going off the front, but the fast pace meant nothing was going. About midway through the race a break of 5 rolled. It went just before I thought it would, so I missed it. I spent the next laps looking for a way to get across, but the NSWIS and Cylance teams were setting a very fast pace at the front. It didn't seem logical to jump across with the pace so high. At some point in the race a NSWIS rider crashed and went left to right across the course. I was proud of myself because I did not touch my brakes, swerved hard, and narrowly avoided a terrible crash. With 10 to go the break was very close and the speed was picking up for the finale. I am not sure why, but in the end I was losing positioning and found myself near the back of the group. Evan had a great ride staying up in the front and taking 11th place. It was a tough race last night, but tonight I will try my best to get into the moves at the Giro di Burnaby Crit.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tour de Delta Road Race

Yesterday we rode the Tour de Delta 1.2 road race. We did 12 laps over a 13 km rolling and technical circuit that featured two climbs that were not very long nor very steep. The race started off fast from the gun. Since the course was not too difficult my plan for the day was to let the course take its toll on riders over time. This ended up being an error as I sat at the back of the race for roughly half of the race saving energy. At the front of the race Evan, Oliver, and Jonah covered moves to put Evan into a roughly 20 rider front group where he sat on and made Rally and the other teams drive the move. The break was always really close to the peloton throughout the entire race. 6 laps into the race I followed a move over one of the hills and tried to make the junction to the front. The big reshuffle came with 3 laps to go when the groups came together on one of the hills but then split again over the top of the hill. I saw this happening but was about 20 riders too far back to make the split and thought the group would stay together. With 2 laps to go the field brought Evan's group back, but there were still riders off the front. The final time up the largest hill on the course I attacked over the top with a couple riders and Oliver was able to counter me. However, we were unable to make a selection happen. Going into the finale Oliver was leading out Evan, and I came by Oliver to shield him from the wind. Ryan Roth of Silber ended up taking the win, and Evan came home in 16th place. I was very disappointed with how I raced the race because I had preconceived notions of how the race would play out and I stuck to them. I had good legs but did not use them at the back for the first half, and when the split happened with 3 to go I also had the same thoughts. It is good to have ideas of how races will play out, but it is smarter to adapt those ideas as a race progresses. We resume racing on Wednesday with the Gastown Grand Prix. I look forward to having a great race there.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ladner Crit

Last night we raced the Ladner crit here at BC Superweek. It was a short, flat and tight, 4 turn course over a 700 meter circuit. I started off at the front, but the first 5-10 laps started out like a sprint, so I was shuffled to the back. Throughout the race riders were getting shelled from the pace and I would pick them off. However, I could never find good lines to pass a lot of people through the turns, so I could never make it to the front of the race. This is the first time in a long time I have been unable to actually participate in the action at a race. It was like a 1 hour motor pacing session. Evan was able to make his way to the front even though he flatted mid race and was put back in at the back of the race. He stayed up there and was able to come away with 9th place yet again. Today we race the 100 mile UCI 1.2 Tour de Delta road race. It should be a fun one.