July 5, 2012

Junior Nationals

Let me start by saying sorry to my reader(s) for the fact that I haven't updated my blog since my euro trip. Quick race summary before Nationals, I wasn't super fit at either the Missisipi Mills stage race or KW classic. I managed 6/35 overall at MMSR and a top 10 at KW with 80% of the field dropping out due to immense heat. This past weekend I ventured to Lac-Megantic, Quebec and my fitness was coming up nicely for the National Championships. I had been working tirelessly on my Time Trial for the month leading up and I was quite happy with my performance.  I did feel a little cheated however results wise because since I was in the last few riders I had to face strong winds in comparison to that of the earlier waves. I rode well enough for 4th place, 46 seconds behind the winner, and 25 seconds away from 2nd/3rd. The winner, Nigel Ellsay, was at the Trofeo Karlsburg with me 1 month ago and in the time trial of 10km he beat me by 42 seconds. 1 month and 6 or 7 ITT specific efforts later and I am only 46seconds back.... over three times the distance! That is a massive improvement. I went in almost expecting him to catch me (starting two minutes behind me).

In the road race I knew if I could do a substantially better ride than MA Soucy (who was 2nd in the ITT) I would be a strong contender to be picked to ride the worlds ITT with Nigel. Lap 2, over the 2km climb, he was dropped. Small celebration. We had a plan, get Simon and Adam in the early break, they did this successfully until their break away partner Chris Prendergast attacked them. After completing 3 laps of the short circuit chase 1, which I was part of, began its journey back home. We soon swept up all remaining members of the break and began our pusuit of Chris P. Up until 20km to go 6 of us were working well together and the gap to Chris was 30 seconds, we would certainly catch him before the finish at this rate. Then Nigel attacked, we all jumpped on and then no one wanted to work. Fast forward - No one gets away, Chris wins, I come 2nd in our bunch sprint for 2nd. Why did Nigel attack attempt an attack? I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and it was a little bit of a bummer because it effectively ended everyones chance at the win. I don't know if he thought he was strong enough to drop us because only Yohan and I were working with him prior to, as Etzl and two quebec riders were a little too shattered to help. Then the three of us went on attacking unable to unhitch the others. Maybe he was afraid of his sprint abilities if we were to catch Chris or maybe he was infact working for Chris, seeing as they race on the same French team when in Europe. Either way I will never know exactly why he did it, but thats the mystery of bike racing!

The crit was pretty standard, attack constantly, go for final sprint. I was in pretty much every move of the race and spent a lap solo off the front. It didn't work out but I am happy with my 6th place sprint after being one of the top few aggresors during the race.

Next I will do some racing in Ontario, spend a weekend in Paris, followed by a month in Belgium. Hopefully after all that I will be selected to the Worlds team in Holland at the end of September. Life isn't hard, but bike racing is.                  

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