Saturday, July 2, 2011

CNE Master 40-49 Criterium race report (as seen from the tail end)

I got to the race about 2 hrs before the start.  I couldn't not get a proper warm up for this one.  Lately that's been the main reason for my terrible season.  I have  used that excuse twice now.   I park alongside Martin and The Reverend Jeff Ker.  We set up a little makeshift area between the cars to set up our trainers, and change and discuss the race.  Gary from Z team parked beside me.  He looked ready to rock.  I think we were too. I try to set my bike into the trainer and am not surprised to find that this new trainer needs a special skewer for the bike to fit so its useless to me.  I get on my bike and in Canada Day traffic I ride up and down Lakeshore Ave.  Around 3:20 we all line up, but the race officials say we can go do 1 warm up lap.  Fuck that.  I have a good spot on the line. 3'd row of about 10 or more.  I made that mistake in Ottawa.  Do the warm up lap and get back to the line and find your 85 guys back.  As we line up I get that sinking feeling I occasionally get before a race, the one that is accompanied by a soundtrack.......but it quickly went away.

The bell sounds and we clip in and take off.  The guys at the very front are Marc and Stan from Kurzawinski and Ian , Bruce, Radek, and Wieslaw and maybe 2 guys from other teams.  Radek and Wieslaw take off like they were going to be arrested.  The pace is already at my worst nightmare speed, and we just took the first of many chicanes .  Slowly the pack feels itself out and I find myself towards the back.   I would say after a few laps a couple of guys crash on the first corner after the chicane.  It looks like Chris Kirk and Doug Blades.   A small gap forms and we attempt to catch back up.  Impossible they say, but that doesn't keep the inexperienced from trying for a while.  I should have taken my free lap.  I felt good.  Maybe good enough to hang in there.

For a few laps myself and a few guys form a small chase , but its no use.  We were probably all M2s chasing a huge pack of M1s.   We rode our asses for about half an hour off until the clowns in the pace car caught  us and (in some language) said we were being lapped.  I pulled out.  Only to see that a lot of guys hadn't even made it that far.

moments before I got lapped
I approached Radek from WOB (Wheels of Bloor) and talked for a while.  He had pulled out after 3 laps.  that massive pace he helped set at the start had made him blow up.  The stratagem hadn't worked out  exactly as they had planned .  So I suppose he left the Birdman and Ian to lead the battle without him.  He did  think that Bruce would win.  Sighting that Bruce has an extra 80 watts of power that no one else has, I added maybe Bruce should have a new category made for him.  Master 0.

We watched as the race unfolded.  There were about 7 guys in the breakaway group.  D'amico form Z Team, Bruce and Ian from WOB, Stan from our team Kurzawinski , I think some dude from BC, and I didn't recognize the other 2 (I am not as familiar with the M1 guys, especially the out of province guys) |.  They held strong until about the 3's last lap. But even to the casual observer anyone could see who was doing most of the work, and who was just in for a ride to the line.  Genius I thought, but  they got caught.  From our vantage point we were unable to see exactly where they were caught but I imagine as soon as they were that's when Chris Firek took off like a bat out of hell .  I placed my bets right there that he was going to take it.

The main group caught him probably with less that 1km to go.  As the pack approached the line the only face I actually was able to discern was Robs.  He took the race with his trademark Ferrarri sprint.

He was escorted around the course in a convertible Camero, alongside his 2 beautiful children.  On top of the world.  Nice work Rob.  Canadian National Criterium Champion.

Results here: