Canada Cup Finals: Mt. Washington, BC
Friday I took my first look at our race course. I think I have to credit Mt. Washington for putting together the best course on the circuit. It is also one of the most beautiful rides I’ve done lately. We skirted Alpine meadows with a small lake and when going easy could enjoy views of still snowy peaks in the distance.
The race course contained 3 climbs broken up by rooty descents and rocky mounds. The climbs varied from rooty single track to open roads - some with substantial steep sections. I opted to use the dually this weekend and am glad I did. It’s important in the middle of a racing block to keep riding as fun as possible and ripping down the descents on the dually did this for me. Due to showers Friday night and the fact we are at the end of a tough racing block the chief commissaire opted for a shorter race assigning 4 laps to the women and 5 to the men. From the Gun Alison Sydor took off and Kiara led the chase. Wendy, Mical and myself were close in tow. By the top of the first climb I had moved into 3rd. After last nights rain the roots were much more slick and my first descent was a bit sloppy. Later in the lap, Wendy who had been on my wheel passed me leading the second descent. I felt really strong on the final climb in training so made sure I got ahead for it. By the next climb I was able to put 20 seconds into Wendy and settled into more of a rhythm. I think Wendy ran into some chain suck problems this lap and I was able to open a meaningful gap. All the while Kiara and Alison have been battling up front with Kiara moving into the lead. I felt strong throughout the race and adapted to the slicker roots and was able to maintain my third position while Wendy and Mical battled it out behind me for 4th. With a strong field and every one on it was a good way to wrap up the Canada Cup Season. I was not able to unseat Mical Dyck for the Canada Cup overall leadership finishing 2nd, but the last three Canada cups attracted some of North America’s strongest women and I was able to prove myself a consistent presence near the top.
1. Kiara Bisaro (BC) Team R.A.C.E. 1:35:32 2. Alison Sydor (BC) Rocky Mountain-Business Objects 1:263. Catherine Pendrel (BC) Norco Factory Team 4:24 4. Wendy Simms(BC) Velo Bella 6:105. Mical Dyck (AB) Terrascape Racing/ Trek 6:256. Patricia Sinclair (BC) Scott USA/Kenda 9:367. Sandra Walter (BC) X.O-Felt 11:478. Meghan Kindree (BC) Rocky Mountain/Business Objects 17:599. Michelle Bellamy* (NZL) Jamis/BellamyGallery New Zealand 22:0310. Melissa Dekker* (BC) Dodge City Cycles 22:40
Thursday: Just got the official word…. I am headed to New Zealand for the World Championships! Keep your eyes posted to cycling sites August 27th for Results.
The Road Trip Begins:
Wednesday morning: It is already 25 degrees as we leave Kamloops for Vancouver. Matt has headed out on the bike to Merrit. Keith and I will pick him up after we do a short mtb ride on the cow trail classic course there. By 5:00 we arrive at our friend Sandra’s place. We enjoy the cooler air and a great supper before settling in to watch “Grizzly man”, a film about a guy crazy about Grizzlies who after living among them for 13 years ends up in the belly of one. The Team going to World Championships in New Zealand was supposed to be announced today, but for some reason was not. I am left to wait anxiously. We have packed enough belongings into our car for us to be away for 3 weeks on the road. I had to include a couple more items incase my trip is extended to 5 weeks including a New Zealand winter. This weekend holds the last Canada Cup of the Season and the determination of the series leader. I am currently in Second and have to pull out a great race with some riders separating Mical and I in order to win. After the race in Mt. Washington this Saturday, the three of us (me, Keith and Matt) will head to Utah where we hope to do a lot of trail exploration around racing the Norbas in Brian Head, Utah and then Aspen, Colorado.
A lot of riders have been anxiously anticipating the Whistler Canada Cup. It is always nice to have a race venue you can depend on to make you feel like a mountain bike racer not just a fit cyclist. Unfortunately, even though this weekend’s Canada Cup field had probably the highest caliber of racers it has ever seen, our race venue was put in a far corner of Whistler where there was little to no exposure and no signs pointing the way to our site.
The course was as to be expected, rocky and aggressive with bridges, little climbing and some twisty sections. It was a fun course, but with little opportunity to pass. Race day was a balmy 38 degrees. We lined up on the grass. I had Mary McConneloug on my left and Marie Helene and Alison Sydor on my right. Also in the field were Kiara Bisaro, Willow Koerber, Kelli Emmit, Wendy Simms and Canada Cup favourite Mical Dyck. I had a good start, keeping pace with the leaders, but didn’t take full advantage of it on the climb and slid into 10th position. By the end of the fire road I was in 9th and after the single track climb I was able to get ahead of Mical and Kelli and move into 7th. A little less traffic and I feel I could have been closer to the string of leaders, but once in 7th the run was clear until I started catching the tail end of the men’s elite field. I raced solid and strong, passing Sydor who was off fixing a flat mid first lap. I held 6th position until the last lap where Kelli closed on me. We rode together until I crashed coming out onto a fire road. I felt like I was riding well and could have finished with Kelli or possibly ahead. Instead those 20 seconds cost me 2 positions as Alison Sydor back from her early flat caught me with 200m to go. Although I had the ideal sprinting spot on her wheel my sprint would not challenge many recreational riders let alone Sydor. So it was 8th place for me. With the caliber of field I was okay with 8th. I had battled through the heat for over 2hrs and came out strong. Marie Helene took the win followed by Mary McConneloug and Kiara Bisaro.