Hans Clarke Photo – I am hoggin bike wash and some people are spraying in instead of out
Well after a break from racing to coach I got back into my athlete chamois and put in some time on course thursday/friday aiming for >800m a day and just having fun on the course and trying to recover mentally and physically to be focused on a solid 90min effort Saturday. Seemed to work and the whips were relatively coordinated. Thanks to those that cheered in the rain and those who caught some photos. As always to Trek Store Toronto for bike/gear/life support and to Zach Tatem and his mobile ‘Bicycle Repair Co’ who wrenched for Trek Canada for Nationals. Also thanks to Molly for putting up with my athlete-ness and making ‘wheee!!!’ sounds when I do whips (see video) .
Mitch Bailey Photo – Whip # 3 of 7 on the day approximately
Muddy day but amazing turnout with spectators sticking around through heavy rain and wind. Hardwood Ski and Bike and Pulse Racing should be commended on super event. Pan Ams will be no problem. I had a decent day, likely my best ‘mud’ race of my life. Ended up 9th with bike and body in one piece. Kudos to Derek Zandstra and Emily on winning Elite and also to my teammate Soren for putting in really solid lap times (close to Emily’s) in the Junior women’s event.
Ted from Apex caught me sneaking some air behind McSneaky
Great first day back racing mountain bikes. I enjoyed the time off but last few weeks I have been going crazy to race. So good to see everyone (mostly everyone) at Ocup #1 Woodnewton. Kudos to Superfly Racing for great organization and for mixing up the course abit this year. Course was harder (about 1km/hr slower for most categories/athletes) .
Most Smart Athletes had good/best days and most were on the podium.
Peter Kraiker Got me banking a corner on the final descent
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What a super day at the races. While I had ambitious to be in the lead pack and going for the win again this year it was ambitious to think my preparations were sufficient and that my first race back after many months away from racing would be my best but 10th with some decent power output for the 2 hour event and solid technical riding were enough for me this year.
The Course was quite dry, which *may* have been a factor that kept me out of making the break (or re-catching the break) … This made for a generally fast moving day despite the pre-vailing headwind and longer course this year as we neared 70km on the day.
Molly and I were down for the weekend with a Sponsor Ride on Friday and a Women’s Talk on the Saturday, and a children’s skills clinic on the Saturday. Photo credit to my Dad on the above shot of Molly and I !
Mike Garrigan, National CX Champ and multi-time Paris to Ancaster Champ and Sean Kelly, Provincial Coach and Road racing legend, and I went for what was basically a full pre-ride on Saturday afternoon. Likely not the wisest use of time and energy given the dry course but so much fun to get out exploring with 2 good friends who I don’t get to ride with enough and who love a good gravel road (or mtb trail) on road bikes as much as I do .
To top it all off, I was able to see many friends and family who live in Ancaster while at the event. It was a busy 1st weekend back at the races.
Providence was perhaps the best Cylocross race I have been at in terms of organizers planning for a festival and full weekend of events. With 1200+ racers and 8000+ spectators the numbers tell the story. Exiting courses, food vendors, and beer gardens make for a super weekend of spectating .
I wasn’t feeling super over the weekend but managed some mid pack finishes and enjoyed the beer garden jump and a few laps with Mike Garrigan on Day 2.
A Great weekend in Rochester NY for the Full Moon Vista – Ellison Park CX – Presented by Trek
The weekend started with a Skills clinic that Molly and I Co-Instructed with The Durrins, Jeremy Durrin and Gabby Durrin (nee Day). We had a great mix of abilities and our split between a more foundational look at skills and cross with the Durrins taking the more race oriented folks on a more tactical and course specific session (sneaking skill work in as it is just as important for the advanced folks!).
I sat out this years provincials as I recovered from Crank the Shield the weekend before . The chance to observe all the athletes I coach on one of the , if not the most, important races of their season is quite valuable and the course allowed for a good observation of each athlete’s ‘tool-box’
While I seem to thrive in the conditions and courses that Crank the Shield especially but stage races generally, seem to produce this one seemed to do a good job of leaving a few of the participants down a few pegs with injuries and illness.
Needless to say there were some good times among the shivering and sniffling. Bunking and dining with some new and old friends, including my arch nemesis AWI, was super fun and convincing an American girl to come and spend some time in chilly northern Ontario vs. staying in Sunny/warm Vegas was also enjoyable. Battling with Marc Antoine Nadon of 3rox was good times until he pushed me into a river and took the final stage win.
I ended up winning and got to see many of the athletes I coach personally and also have helped through the FREE Crank the Shield Newsletter put their hard work and preparation to the test .