Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I'm riding, I'm loading up my pistol
I'm riding, I really got a fistful
I'm riding, I'm shining up my saddle
I'm riding, this snake is gonna rattle..................

The Provincial Championships were today just outside Waterloo on what the locals call The Bamberg Loop. We did 7 laps which was just over 100kms.  It contained no climbs but some very nice rollers that seem to appear in pretty rapid succession.  The temperature was a heavy and humid 30-31 degrees and there was a wind coming out of the north.  The race started off relatively slow.  Everyone was doing a little looking around and trying to secure a decent position in the pack.  The organizers were unquestionably clear about the yellow line rule, and that anyone who crossed it would be disqualified.  I heard them warn several people,  including a buddy of mine.  They needed to take into consideration that the tar filling the cracks in the road near the yellow line was nearly  soft as crap and to avoid going down you needed to roll out of the line or risk crashing.

I stayed in the front from the start and tried either keep with the pace or maintain a good pace myself.  I did chase down 1 small attack and try to get into a quickly failed breakaway.  Just before  the start of the 4th lap I found a good line and took Marc up to the front and continued pulling at the very front.  Shortly thereafter I got the word to go back into the pack and take a rest.  Here was my mistake.  I should have moved back 15 places but instead I drifted near to the very back. Back with a pile of guys I didn't want to be near.  There was less than 3 laps left and the speeds were picking up fast, but also the openings and opportunities to move back up to the front were diminishing even faster.  I tried to pick a few wheels to pull me back up front, but they were duds.  I found a lot of guys were content to just sit in and do nothing.  Which in an unimportant crit race that's fine but at the Provincials????  C'mon.  No fun.  From the moment I drifted back into no man's land I was urgently trying to get back up  .  It was just so damn tough as no one was trying to change their position and no openings were appearing.  When the last lap bell rang I resigned to the fact I wasn't going to be able contest the sprint as I had secretly planned, but I was still making up spaces in the pack.  Last corner we all take off .  The only sound is of derailleurs slamming into faster gears.  An unfortunate crash at the very front took out a couple of top contenders and changed the outcome for the would-be top 10ers.  I still had a lot left in my tank and made the best of it.  I approached the line through a maze of riders, many struggling to find their way.  I just kept zigzagging in and around of others until I found the line .   For the team it was a decent day.  Me, a great day.  After 2.5 months of terrible results  and races that I couldn't even finish I pulled off a near top 20.  I was, am, really happy.  I fully intend to continue my progression through the rest of the season by bettering each race result.  

Team Kurzawinski
Sport Category

Master B
Marc: 12th
Stan:59th (crash)
out of about 85 riders

Master C

Coach,  with that stupid farmer hat!!!

Andy and Wes

Special thanks to Extreme Road for setting up such a well organized race, and for sharing the Bamberg loop with everyone.  Great job!!!

Racing photos to follow