Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Canada Games Cycling Spring Classic – What a name!

Thanks to Simon and help for making a last minute effort to get this race off the ground, I was initially going to head to NB to participate in the Miramichi Stage Race but with a race being added to the NS calendar it wasn’t a hard decision to decide on which race to make. The event was well attended and all proceeds went towards NS Canada Games Cycling and in the end I believe something close to $2500 was raised!
This week I managed to get 2 other guys to pile in my Kia and make the relatively short trip to Falmouth, still a good 3 hour ride but like I say “relative” to other trips. Making the trip with a few guys sure makes time go by a lot faster as it seemed like by the time I had finished my coffee we were rolling up Eldrigde road for registration. My brother Nick was about to take part in his first ever bicycle race and was pretty excited, Gab fresh from taking a year off to take care of a new “little one” was having an internal debate on which category to race. In the end I think his head and heart were saying Cat A but legs were saying Cat B.. I don’t think he’s seen Jens T-shirt “Shut up Legs”.
We took off from the start line at 11am and with this relatively flat course and only being 103Km I figured we were in for a pretty fast race. I still don’t know what our pace was but if my heart rate was any indication I’d say it was pretty quick. The first attack went off as soon as we hit the first hill and since I was in a really bad position I was unable to react and they quickly gained some ground. I don’t remember who or when we brought them back but I attempted to bridge a couple times without success.
When we did reel them back in I tried several times to get in the break, I stayed near the front and went with every attack. As soon as I got caught out of position trying to recover for a few seconds Jamie Lamb (Cyclesmith), Jay Grover (Hub Cycle) and Marty Austin (Louis Garneau) got away. This was very bad news for me as the two strongest teams were well represented, and even worse news which I only came to find out later in the race was that Andrew Lesperance was racing for Cyclesmith. These 3 teams combined is almost 45% of the entire field. It was going to be a long tough day.
I again attempted to get another break making several strong attacks but with the teams represented in the group making sure that we didn’t get away or sitting in getting a free tow, it was getting obvious that instead of attacking each other the rest of us not in the break were going to have to start working together to bring these 3 guys back.
So after a couple laps of several guys taking turns on the front and starting to make up a little ground I notice a car sitting in the middle of the road with its 4 ways flashing and see several bikes lying on the ground. As soon as I get by the car I see my brother standing in the ditch with a confused/painful expression on his face. I’m thinking “O great.. What happened”, I Quickly yell “Are you ok?” to which he responded with a nod. That’s bike racing; it’s not a matter of if you will have a crash it’s just a matter of when. Thankfully he had some pretty good road rash but aside from that he came out ok (Can’t say the same for his wheels) and is looking forward to getting some revenge this weekend. As  we hit the only hard hill on the course  the big guns attacked Andrew Lesperance (Cyclesmith), Dustin Macburnie (Louis Garneau) and Lorenzo Catterni (Hub Cycle).
I knew this was my last chance to have a shot a victory so I dug pretty deep and managed to stay in contact with these guys to the top of the climb and we had a big gap to the rest of the field. I still had lots of legs left but with the pace being as high as it was combined with the work I was doing earlier I should have just sat in for a few minutes and allowed myself to recover, but being as stubborn as I am I decided to work with these guys.

It wasn’t too long after where I had enough and started to miss a turn on the front but soon got back into the rotation. I pulled right into the bottom of another small hill and near my limit Dustin attacked with Andrew and Lorenzo in tow, I slowly started losing ground meter by meter and knew I had no hope of getting back on solo. I soon sat up and waited for the remainder of the pack to catch me and as soon as they did started to get all the guys to work together. I often took double pulls as some guys had a hard time keeping things smooth on the inclines which would be enough to open small gaps which I would fill as I knew keeping this train working smoothly was the only hope we had of reeling anyone back in. At this point there were 6 guys up the road and only a handful of laps remained.
With 1 lap to go we managed to reel back 4 guys in the break leaving Dustin and Andrew to fight it out for the win, I was pretty certain even if we had the entire group working together with the gap they had we weren’t going to close it down, it was now a race for 3rd.
I attacked going up the climb past the golf course and that failed, we were still mostly together and after the corner I got up and attacked again this time getting a decent gap, but looking over my shoulder I seen the group starting to reel me back but I could tell the guys were looking pretty tired and didn’t look like there was a whole lot of fight left, I went back and recovered for a few moments as we had 1 little climb left that would likely  be my last chance to get away solo. I waited at the bottom of the climb as I really wanted someone to drag me up ½ before I went and soon enough Lorenzo put in a dig which quickly gained some ground, but he was on the other side of the road I wasn’t able to get in a draft but no sooner, Marty his arch nemesis wasn’t going to have any of it and jumped and I stuck to his wheel, as soon as he started slowing down I attacked and then caught and passed Lorenzo and very painfully and slowly started opening a gap which I held to the line just close enough to see Dustin and Andrew play out their track sprint (You can see a LONG way down the road). Congrats Andrew, well done. In 4th Marty managed to get the best of Lorenzo and Jay Grover won the field sprint for 6th.

Overall I still need some more work on my top end, but with each week I can feel I’m getting faster and it’s good to know I have the endurance in the legs to push hard all race. I just need to start making some better decisions on when to burn my matches even if I have a couple boxes, without any teammates this year it makes it all the more important.


Monday, 30 April 2012

Tour De Dog – Fredericton NB

In the week leading up to this race I had been trying to con a few local guys to make the trip up with me, knowing it was going to be a long drive (7.5 Hrs) traveling solo didn’t seem much fun. After poking and prodding I finally got commitment from Mark Cosman! Good thing he didn’t know that he was going to be racing in the “B” Cat nor that there was a 5-6? KM climb, near freezing temps and lots of wind. He Hung tough and finished mid pack which is great being the longest and toughest course he has ever done. Good job Mark!! This means Gab is racing A right?!? haha
We hit the Delta Hotel after driving around Freddie not really knowing where we were going; just a general idea, about 7:30pm checked in and headed to BP to get some Scallop and Prawn Fettuccini. We headed to Cora’s in the AM for a wicked breakfast; amazingly I wasn’t able to finish it all.

We arrived on the at the school for registration around 9:30am and got our numbers and decided we were going to do a lap of the course in the car just to see what it was like, Jim Currie had said it one big climb followed by a descent and rinse and repeat so we were anxious to check it out. We started heading up hill and drove a good 6-8 KM and it was mostly rolling hills so we figured it wasn’t too bad and headed back to the school to get geared up for the race. Needless to say we missed the first corner and soon came to realize once the race started that the course in fact was one LONG climb followed by a descent and we got to do that 6 times for 108KM. I did as much climbing in this 108KM as I did in 135KM of Battenkill, I have to say that this was tougher race for me than Battenkill. But then again I was out in front this race and was following wheels in Battenkill so that’s likely why.

We lined up, decent sized group for our standards I think we had just over 25 or so. Shelia was ready to start the race and I quickly realized I had put my gels in my jacket pocket and I took that off right before the start of the race and said “WAIT WAIT WAIT – I forgot my gels” ha, I barreled it to the car to get my gels and she took the opportunity to ask the rest of the guys if they needed gels or peanut butter sandwiches and I’m sure a few other things. Thanks Shelia!!
We started off and a couple guys decided to go right from the start, the group wasn’t all that interested in chasing them down and a few radical edge guys got on the front and set a steady tempo the first time up the climb. I’m some glad we started up and not down as I was freezing but soon warmed up enough to be comfortable. The group made it to the top of the first climb all together and we started heading down and soon realized how much wind there was. We had a monster tail wind climbing and felt it going down. There was no coasting on this course, I’m sure it was some of the toughest conditions/course combination I’ve raced. Pretty much suited for me.

I had figured since it was such a tough course and with the wind it was best to try and get a break going down the hill into the wind, I was hoping this would tempt the bigger guys to bridge up to me and with 2-3 of them in a break I would have an advantage later in the race to drop them on the climb but use them up to that point to keep a gap on the pack with their strength in the wind and descent. So I launched an attack and got a good gap, I keep my pace steady and stayed far enough from the pack but close enough to make it easy for anyone who wanted to bridge to get to me. Not sure what the pack was doing back there but I stayed on the front for the rest of the lap which took a considerable effort. As we got part way up the climb on lap 2 the group came back to me and again radical edge went to he front and set tempo up the climb.
I think halfway up the climb Brian (Radical Edge) got on the front and I was thinking this seems a bit harder then tempo but didn’t think too much of it, when we got near the top of the climb Lorenzo came by and said something and I looked back and we had a good gap to the pack, there were 4 of us and as I started pulling down the climb into the wind I looked back and only Jay Grover was near me, I still don’t know what happened but I figure no one was interested in getting in a break yet... Too early in the race I guess?!?

We all came back together again and as we were on our way back down Shaughn Smith decided to have a go and quickly had a few hundred meters on the pack and was quite quickly getting away, there were 4 Radical Edge guys near the front and another coming up to them and they were talking together, I thought something was about to go down and figured I had better get to the front as I was tucked hiding from the wind mid pack. No sooner than I got to the front of the pack and got on Adam Douthwright’s (Radical Edge) wheel he attacked, I had timed it perfect and I got a freebie. We were soon working very well together and caught Shaughn and the 3 of us dug deep to get out of sight of the pack. I knew with Adam’s team being the strongest in the group they wouldn’t be chasing us and should be doing a good amount of blocking back in the pack.

We came around for the 3rd time up the climb and I set tempo up getting them to help on the false flat sections, we were 3 smooth well oiled machines. We neared the top of the climb and looked back and Jay Grover (Hub Cycle) had bridged up to us, which was a fine piece of climbing from him.
The 4 of us set to work and we all seemed very motivated to work together and were looking to get some split times, Sheila came around when we hit the bottom of the climb and said we had 2 minutes on 2 and 4 minutes on the pack. For being off the front for only 1 lap I was pretty confident this group was going to make it to the end. 

The 4 of us set into the steady tempo on the 4th and 5th laps, Jay and I paced up the climbs and the 4 of us worked going down, with the horse power of Shaughn and Adam they made quick work of the wind on the descents.
Shaughn knew he wasn’t going to make it up the climb on the 6th lap, we had hoped he would be back to make it back around and hang onto 4th, but  a few guys managed to catch him and he ended up finishing in 8th. Still a solid result from a guy who looks like a crit rider on a mountain course. Great job Shaughn.

As Jay, Adam and I made our way up the climb the last time I was thinking strategy and in hindsight didn’t pick the right one. I decided I was going to launch my attack on a little kicker on the descent which was about 6K left from the finish, I was hoping that Jay would try to follow me and knew Adam would have some trouble getting up to hand onto Jay and I. So when we hit this kicker on the descent Adam took his turn on front and I launched my attack with everything I had... All in. I was quickly getting away and my gap was growing. The winds were fierce and I had my chin on my stem pumping my legs as fiddling with gears moving position on my seat trying to get every ounce of power I could muster. It was starting to look like I might be able to get away, but when I launched my attack Jay played it perfectly opting not to try to bridge to me solo but to get help from Adam and as they started working together they slowly meter by meter started reeling me back in and caught me as we started down the last hill where we make a right hander towards the finish. Adam saw an opportunity with the cross wind and descent to try an attack but I was quickly on his wheel with Jay in tow.

We then sat up and congratulated each other on a solid days work and proceeded to head in for a sprint finish, with a tricky right hand corner 300 meters from the finish Adam was the first to   dive into the corner and open his sprint, I got on his wheel as quickly as I could and was liking my chances as Jay had been slow to get through the corner and we had a gap on him. As we hit the last bit of climbing I stood up and sprinted with what little I had left in my legs begging for more power and seemingly looking like I was going to take the win, but with a handful of meters left to the line Jay come on the right side and nipped me for the win. Grats Jay!

Overall an awesomely tough course which completely exploded all groups into scattered riders all over the course. Hopefully it happens again next year.

-          Jeff

Monday, 23 April 2012

After a long chase Jeremy (Cyclesmith Junior team) and Jeff (Coastal Financial Credit Union)  powering their way back onto the tail end of the group. Awesome riding Jeremy!! Keep it up.

16th Annual Wolfville-Roubaix

So I woke up to rain Sunday morning, and in some weird way I found some satisifaction that we would be racing this great event downpour and slogging through dirt roads spewing mud everywhere, but as it turned out we didn't get a lick of rain and the roads were dry in a lot of places. O well there is always next year.

My Brother and I turned into the old Juice factory parking lot around 11:20 which left lots of time to sort out our gear and say Hi to lots of friends. It was a really great turn out and it appears to be getting bigger and bigger each year. Awesome to see!

After TT laid out the ground rules we set off at a nice and casual 25-27km/hr pace whcih lasts for the entire first 30k (85k total), this gives everyone time to see how everyone's Winters has been and to scope out who's been training and who's been slacking (Lamb...) O I mean studying or something...

15K into the ride nature was calling so I pulled off to the side of the road, when I got back on my bike I noticed a little guy hammering for all he's worth (I think with his Dad following in the car behind?) so I pulled up next to him and told him to hang on, soon we were doing well over 30KM/Hr and starting to catch back up to the group. I gave him a  little push when we got close to a stop and asked his Dad if he was supposed to be riding in the group and he said "He's trying" ha, that was enough for me, we got around the corner and I started pushing him back to the group again. a K later we got back on. It's so great to see these young kids comming out and getting active cycling, they are our future and I'm glad he had a great time. Maybe in another 10 years he'll be pushing me up the hills! After Roubaix was done he came up and shook my hand and thanked me for the push! What a guy!! Giver Jeremy!!

With the 30K mark soon approaching I can see the right hand turn onto the start of chaos, lamb pretending to attack was the first to hit the dirt, as soon as my wheels got onto the gravel I dropped the hammer. Full out carnage and I was loving every second of it. As I got 1/2 down the first dirt section I looked back to see none other than Mr Lamb and we had a decent gap back to the pack, I soon asked him to come around for a pull but he was having none of it and soon the group was back on us. So I sat on front and soft pedaled for a few moments, it seemed as if everyone was happy to take a breather because there was no counter attack. Everyone just sat up. After about 20 seconds I was good to go so I shifted down a couple and was full  gas again, this time with Lamb and Lazza on my wheel, we were nearing the end of the first dirt section and I again asked for the guys to come through, they looked like they were huritng and by the time we got to the end of the 1st dirt section we were all back together again. This time a counter attack went, but didn't seem 100% commited and it all came back together again.

I was content to recover a bit in the group so for the next few K I just sat in and enjoyed the ride, a few guys took off here and there but nothing was really sticking. I saw Dustin starting to move up as we were on some rough pave and soon heading into another dirt section I moved to the outside and got on his wheel and it was long after untill he put a good dig in on the dirt, with the strong crosswind and him riding as close as possible to the loose gravel on the road no one was able to get a draft and he split the group. We had 4-5 of us taking  some turns but slowely more people were starting to get back on and again the guys didn't seem very committeed so as I was comming through for my next pull I put my head down and gave it another go aloone. I looked back and seen I had a good gap.

This time it stuck, no one seemed to take control to reel me in, I got back on the pave and with the strong tailwind was in my biggest gear over 60Km/hr but soon turned left and was back in the wind, I took a quick look back to see if anyone was trying to bridge up to me and sure enough a rider from Lunenburg (Colin) was gaining on me, I knew with the wind that I could use the help so waited for him. As soon as he bridge up to me he wanted to head to the front and pull haha, I told him to take a breather and let me take the 1st pull. I took another look back as I moved behind colin and I could see Simms in the distance and almost waited for him, but I knew the group really wasn't to far behind him and if we had of waited and been back in the group sights I think they would have made short work of our efforts. Sorry Simms! :P

It wasn't long working with Colin till I felt his efforts on the front, usually I can recover very well riding behind another guy but he is so strong on the flats and descents that it felt like I was still on the front. Everytime we went uphill I was thankfull because I could finally get a breather.

We rode together for a good 20K and finally hit a dirt section  with a pretty steep climb and this is where Colin started suffering, I crested the top and looked back and seen Colin was still quite a ways down on the climb so foolishly I decided to head on alone. It wasn't too long after when I looked back and seen Colin comming back again so I sat up and waited for him to get on and we started working again. We hit another climb and again he was falling behind so I took off again.

Garette and Dustin had attacked the group up that same dirt climb and managed to reel in Colin a short while later, the 3 of them worked together and were quickly making ground on me, they must have dropped Colin on another climb, when they came by me I was mid climb myself and they didn't want me to be any part of it. They pretty much blew past me like I was standing still. But they were now racing each other and no longer working together because they were out front so this played to my adventage and slowely I started to claw back some ground. It wasn't a couple K later till we hit a descent and I managed to bridge back up to them.

With less than 7-10K to go we started doing some lazy pulls, none of us wanted to work together and I knew come the next climb they would be looking to shell me and each other so as we approached one of the last climbs Garette tried to get away and I was glued to his wheel so he sat up and it wasn't a few seconds later Dustin countered, this is where I made a mistake. I thought Garette had the legs to reel Dustin back in, but as I found out later he had the flu last week and I think he might have still been recovering, either way I had the legs and should have jumped onto Dustin's wheel but didn't and by the time I started making some efforts to reel in Dustin it was far too late. I could see him raising his arms in victory up ahead and then lanched my sprint for 2nd.

Overall I was happy with my effort, tried not to let the tatical error at the end of the race bother me too much and will learn from it. I was on the front nearly the entire time and my legs are responding well to the speed work I have been doing over the last month. I have the base miles to survive those long breakaway efforts and with a bit more speed in the legs I should suffer a tad less. My stomach was up in arms on the drive home, I don't think it liked that effort very much at all.

Thanks for the great ride guys! See you in Fredriction next week.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Tour of the Battenkill - Cambridge, New York

51 of us lined up at the start at 8:30am, normally there would be close to 150 riders but since this event was upgraded to a UCI 1.2 race many of the Pros were racing on Sunday instead so this left our field a few racers short. This was still the biggest field I've ever raced against and I really wasn't sure what to expect as it was my first Cat 1 race.

We got off to a fairly tame start; I immediate went to the front and hid in the first dozen or so racers. My goal was merely to finish with the main group and not get dropped, I didn't figure I'd be competitive and instead I’d try to get some experience and more used to racing with a decent sized pack while attempting to save as much energy as possible for the dirt sections. Apparently one guy showed up about a minute thirty after the start and gunned it to catch up, I was told this after and I think he immediately proceeded to the front and launched an attack, the first that got away. We caught him at the second feed zone and he was toast.

I was a bit nervous before the start of the race but as soon as things got rolling that sorted itself out and I felt right at home, I think I even felt more comfortable and confident in the dirt sections as I was usually able to move up the field a lot easier and often found myself near the front, not close enough to catch any wind but hopefully close enough that I wouldn’t get caught up in a wreck. I had my bike setup with Giant's P-SLR wheelsystem with Hutchinson tubeless tires; I had the front at 87psi and the rear at 93. I think this was about perfect as the bike handled beautifully on the dirt and gravel sections; I never lost control of felt like I was losing control the entire race which is saying something. I hit over 85KM/Hr on a pave descent and over 70KM/Hr down a dirt descent.

We hit the first dirt section and immediately the attacks started, the pace shot up and we were easily hitting 60km/hr on the dirt. The first dirt section was slightly downhill with an easy left hand bend at the midway point which was the only part I was concerned about but this was also the easiest dirt section going. The dirt sections start out with hard packed dirt and turn into big loose gravel towards the end of the race. I got through the first dirt section without any issues and in the first 1/3 of the pack.

As soon as we hit the pave I think the other 2/3 of the pack completely ignored the "yellow line rule" and quickly made their way to the front of the pack. I quickly found myself at the back of the field and not long after we hit the climb and things opened up. Attacks went up the front as everyone's legs were fresh and mine not feeling so good. ----Thursday evening we had decided to drive till about 5pm, we stopped at a local bike shop and had them mark us a decent 60KM loop. Dad and I got geared up and off we went for a little spin, needless to say the 60km loop was a 100km loop and I spent a good 30K in the pitch black Time Trialing my way as fast as my legs would take me back to the hotel to get the car to go back and pick up Dad. I went pretty deep and knew I might pay for it on Saturday. I think I rode that last bit pretty much on the shoulder of the road as I knew cars wouldn’t be able to see and I'm sure they must have been wondering why we were riding in the pitch black with no lights.--- Even with my legs feeling a bit sluggish I was quickly picking my way through the field up the climb and was quickly noticing I was not nearly suffering as much as some others which was very encouraging.

Here's where things get a bit foggy, a couple guys managed to get off the front I think this happened three times as when I finished the race I thought there was only 3 guys up the road with a 30 second gap. Come to find out after the race there were about a dozen guys off the front, I didn't see where they went or how they got off the front but the dude on the motorcycle escort wasn't making any sense to me, all I heard was 3 and 30 seconds.

Anyways we hit the second dirt section, Juniper Swamp road and it has a 18% grab climb but it was pretty short. Think session hill which hits 12% but on dirt and 4 times as long ...enough to split the group and that’s what it did the first time up the hill, but on the descent the rest of the pack got back on. Things were pretty tame from here; we had to do this embedded loop so after that we headed back to town to start the 60mile loop. Basically we just do the last 20 miles all over again.
I knew things might split again up the second time around Juniper Swamp road with that steep climb so I made sure I was in the first 10 guys around the ugly loose gravel corner leading up to the hill. I managed to just hang on to the tail end of the front group and looked back to see a decent sized gap to the rest of the field. The guys on the front knew this and put the hammer down, but once again, at the end of this dirt section most of the guys who were dropped on the climb managed to get back on and we were all together again.

 We were soon coming to the first feed zone and I had a vest I had to get rid of, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t caught on the left hand side of the road when we hit the feed zone so I rode on the right hand side and soaked up a good amount of wind. The problem was the feed wasn’t for another 10KM so I spent a lot of energy, mistake by me. I guess that’s part of the learning experience. To make matters worse I was at the end of the peloton at the feed zone which had a steep little kicker at the end and the guys on the front thought it would be a good time to attack and a few of us found ourselves 50 meters off the back. 2 guys called it a day and the young guy I was with put his head down and buried himself to get back on the group, I sure would have pulled through but he never once looked back to me for help so I let him do his thing. I kind of felt bad about it but I guess that’s part of bike racing. As soon as I got back on the group I headed for the front and remained there through the next few dirt sections.

Things started getting a bit tougher nearing 90km into the race, my legs were feeling very good but the attacks on the front were coming fast and furious, a group of about 15 guys got off the front with 100 meter gap heading into Cheese Factory road and I felt this might be where I get dropped. I don’t know who was on the front but they were hammering and I was left to bridge a 100 meter gap on the gravel into a head wind. I put my head down and told myself might as  well give it everything you got cause if you get dropped now you’re not getting back on. I closed that gap with 1 rider left on my wheel, we were about ½ through the dirt section, which was completely freshly graded road which felt like you were riding on marbles and the beach at the same time. I took a little breather when I caught the group and as soon as I felt good I attacked down a gravel descent hitting over 70km/hr, I figured it was safer to be on the front as it was loose gravel and some tricky corners, I nailed my line and soon had a gap with 2 other guys of about 10 meters. We each pulled through a few times but the group clawed their way back to us and we came to the pave pretty much all together.

 At this point there were only 3 dirt sections remaining with about 30 km left to race, we hit the second to last dirt section which had a few tough climbs and soon found myself again fighting to hang onto the wheels in front of me, guys were getting dropped and I had to get around them which took more energy and just as we got on top of the climb myself and another guy found ourselves just off the back of about 10 guys and we hammered down this long straight loose gravel descent, I didn’t dare look down to see our speed but think the backside of session hill being completely loose gravel and maybe 1.5 times as long. We managed to get back on just as we started to get on the pave.

The second feed zone was quickly approaching which started another decent climb and as checked to see if I needed another bottle I seen I was ok so I moved up closer to the front remembering what had happened at the first feed and it was a good thing as this is where the field finally split. It was all I could do to hang on the wheels in front and 10 guys got a good sized gap on me up this climb. I once again found myself with one other guy and we worked together to get back to the small group ahead. As we were working hard and closing in on the group the wheel truck thought it would be a good idea to pass us. I don’t think I’ve been so mad during a race, I went from sucking as much oxygen as I could to inhaling dirt. It wasn’t much longer and we found ourselves with small group of 11 guys.

Once we got back on the pave with the final dirt section quickly approaching I took a quick breather and looked behind, couldn’t see anyone else behind us and quickly realized I was going to make it to the end in a respectable placing which I was pretty happy about. But, as I thought there were only 3 guys of the road my placing wasn’t quite as good as I thought it was going to be. Still not bad.

 We hit the final dirt section which is pretty much uphill the entire time, about 3km and gaining 130 meters. I took 3rd wheel up the climb and stayed there again looking around and realizing I wasn’t in as bad a shape as the rest of the guys I was with. I made it to the top of the climb right where I started, 3rd wheel. Here is where I should of taken the opportunity to attack as we came out of the dirt but being too cautious wanting to ensure I finished with the group I followed wheels pretty much to the final corner where I was 2nd wheel and followed some guy straight instead of making the corner and lost 5 positions, my speed and losing another position to cross the line 19th. I knew the corner was there as we had drove the course the day before, but with a lack of oxygen to the brain sometimes you’re just not thinking clearly.

 I think my winter training is doing its job as I still had lots of life left in my legs, I had some trouble with the accelerations but with my form quickly coming I am only going to get faster and with the hundreds of hours I put on my bike this past winter things are looking good. I know I wanted to play my first race cautious but it’s not the type of racer I am and I’ll be sure to mix it up and lay it out on the line in Killington.

 I’m now looking forward to Wolfville-Roubaix this weekend and sleeping in my own bed!! If I could find a way to do this for a living I’d be all over it, some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

 I’d like to again thank all of my sponsors who have helped make this possible, without them I wouldn’t have been able to make the trip. Coastal Financial Credit Union, Vaughne Assurance, Beltone Hearing, Cassa Business Equipment, Yarmouth KIA, Cook’s Dairy, Derrick Muise Construction, Manser’s bike shop and Giant Bicycles.

 I’d also like to congratulate Dennis Cottreau who rode the same distance and course as the Pro/Cat 1 guys but with near 150 starters to finish 40th place, awesome job and look forward to getting to train with him when he gets back home this summer.

 A special Thank You to my father for making the trip with me and allowing me to focus on racing and leaving him in charge of everything else, made life very easy.

-          Jeff