Sunday, April 29, 2007

Calabogie and beyond

Made my way down to the Calabogie Classic yesterday at the Calabogie Speedway. A fairly simple 5km closed race course, rolling and flat, with some decent wind and a bit of rain to make things interesting. The main problem with this course is that it is incredibly easy to just sit in the group, as seen from last years open race. The course itself is a fast rolling course which has proved to be quite difficult to get away on. As for race day, I made my way down fairly early to register and watch the Senior 3/Junior race where I had a teammate racing.
After lining up at the start with the 17 other Elite men for the 2:30 start, yes there where only 18 of us, we got underway. I made my way to the front with a few others to try to at least make the race into a hard day for as many people as possible. After a few laps of becoming angry with people's unwillingness to do any work, I attacked and bridged up the road to a single RWR rider. After closing the gap, I saw another RWR rider coming across the gap, so slowed up on the throttle for a few seconds to allow him to make it across. From there, we turned on the steam and quickly opened up a gap on the pack, which eventually grew to over a minute. With some good work being done by all (other than being hassled by one of the riders for both soft-pedaling and going too hard on the hills, which was an oxymoron considering the constant rolling nature of the course) I continued to drive along ignoring him to ride my own race. We ended up staying away for 70+km of the 111km race, being caught by a small chase group lead by a certain Calyon rider (who would go on to take the win). After we where caught by this group, I managed to latch on to the back of that group while my breakaway companions decided to call it a day. Eventually we were again caught by the main peleton, where I, being quite smashed from my efforts, managed to score a gel from a teammate and then promptly inserted myself into the group to try and help my teammate Steve in the sprint. As for usual, no one wanted to work for the last few laps, so they where marked by hard accelerations until a Jetfuel and Calyon rider managed to open a gap and the rest of the peleton decided to sit and wait for the sprint for third. In the sprint, I managed a 8th place overall anyways, so a good day in the saddle. Good to see my legs are coming along. And Steve managed a 4th place, after a photo finish put him inches out of 3rd.

Taking the advice of a wise coach friend of mine, I decided to opt out of the Ste-Martine race, and instead put down a solid endurance day today. With some longer races coming up (possibly the Jiminy Peaks Road Race and Belgium) I agreed that it made sense to take advantage of the weather to put down some more miles. Making my way up through the Gatineaus, I rolled through the hills North of Ottawa on the Quebec side. Beautiful quite roads and climbs abound as far as the eye could see, and mostly sunny skies, other than a quick shower up by Macgregor lake, left me with some excellent additions to my tan lines and odometer. 6 hours and 170km later, I arrived home to one of the more refreshing beers that I've had in quite some time. On to next week, with some possible motor pacing for the first time. And to be honest, I haven't even looked at the calender to see what races I may find myself at this weekend, but I'll keep you updated on that front.

No comments: