Monday, August 15, 2011

Vengeance is boiling

The Ontario Cup Niagara Classic road race was yesterday and as promised it was a great race with a great turnout in almost all the categories.  The weather was warm and humid but not overly so.  The sky was always threatening rain but only ever delivered about 1/3 of the way through the M2 race final lap.

Team Kurzawinski at the front:

The Master 2 race started with about 35 racers.  We all lined up and received our instruction from the commissaire.  We heading along the backside of the course which was a slight descent followed by a couple of small  downhills.  Joe Accardi, Camilo Mondaca , Marco and myself all went directly to the front and stayed there for the full lap dictating the pace.  Camilo pulled very strongly and showed his enthusiasm as one of the teams newest members.  As we hit the first climb up the Effingham Hill I was in the very front, as recommended to me , but then I slowly faded to the back of the pack.  I watched as everyone who was able to climb steep grades better than me left me in their wake.  I continued up unflinched.   It was on this first climb several riders got dropped and rode the rest of the course alone. When I hit the top of the hill I was maybe 20-30' behind the next rider but as the back side was a descent I was easily able to grab back on to the group, catch my breath, get my heart rate under control and then move back to the front.  I did this every lap.

During the second lap I moved up to assume my roll at the front of the group with Marco and Camilo. Camilo asks me "are we going to let this guy escape?' motioning to Matthew DiSilvestro from Ottawa , as he was about 100m ahead on an attempted breakaway.  Little did we know our complacency would hand Matthew his second win of the season and have us fighting for second place at best.  I think during his biggest gap he put 1m20s on us.

At times the pack worked together really well with The Kurzawinski team. We  and a couple of other racers starting a single echelon chase.  Although our efforts were ultimately in vain, we were able to win back about 25 seconds.

During the last lap the speeds still hadn't picked up much as they often do.  Everyone knew this was going to end up in a bunch sprint up the hill.  As my friends and team mates will attest to I am not an overly strong or powerful rider.  So I knew I was in some trouble in the coming minutes.  My hopes of a top 3, top 5 or a top 10 finish were slowly dissolving.  As we are heading towards the final descent Camilo says to me "Trevor, how are you feeling?"  I said I felt like a million bucks.  He told me that he was feeling pretty gassed and knew he didn't have enough power left do do anything serious on the final climb that was about 5 minutes away. He offered to give me a lead out over about 1/2 of the rollers leading up to the hill.  I accepted with eager anticipation.  Marco was still in the front as he had been a lot of the race, and  of course had  no way of knowing what we had just planned.    As we hit the final descent I got into my most aerodynamic tuck and sucked as much air into my lungs as I could.  I told myself to ignore the pain I was about to endure.    Camilo took off up the left side and I followed.  We moved up the side of the  entire pack in  no time.  We stayed near the front never giving evidence of our intentions.  Then Camilo shifted gears.  His speed picked up and I was right there.  My wheel inches from his.  He is a much larger rider than me so the air he moved for me was unbelievable.  (Waaaaay better than riding behind Andy!!!)  We had a bit of a gap as we hit the bottom of the climb, I don't use a computer so I don't know how fast we were going.  As the grade rose Camilo looked back , but had not enough energy or air left to even yell GO!!!   He pulled to the left and I took off.  I was giving it 100%.  I climbed a large part of the hill with no other rider in my peripheral vision but as the the seconds ticked by I saw Steve Fantaske (BCC), Steve Vlemmix (London Honda), Mark Sugita , a guy I didn't recognize (Steve De Boer) and then Lawrence Akot from Darkhorse all fly by me.  It was that instant I saw my dreams of a podium medal vanish.  With less than 15 metres to go I was beside Lawrence's  rear wheel and all I could hear was Coach Krystoph screaming "PASS HIM!!!PASS HIM!!!!! TRUVAH YOU PASS HIM!!!!!"
I was able to catch him at the line by about 6 inches and secure an incredibly hard fought for 6th place.

Lawrence and me bleeding as we approach the line:

Matthew was never actually in danger of us catching him.  So he earned his win heroically.  I feel happy with my sixth place.  Other than organizing a chase group on lap 2  there was nothing I could have done better.  So  sixth was my best effort.  My best result this season.

I pray this isn't my last race of the year.  There are several coming up over the border in a few weeks as well as the Centurion at Blue Mountain.  I'm told I'm still peaking.

Pics to come real soon like!

Marco 14th!
Camilo 17th!
Joe 18th!


  1. Good story, Trevor. Pretty intense to read the race experience from a first-hand perspective.