Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nationals..5.5 seconds from the Jersey!

I think that was the most exciting race I've ever done. Although off to an uncertain start, it turned into a ferocious side by side battle.

From The gun I grabbed 3rd wheel. Marie was off incredibly fast and I was struggling on Jean ann's wheel wondering why other girls like wendy, Mical and Sandra weren't over taking me. Every one was starting smart and I guess figured my slower start good work to their benefit! By the climb I found my groove and focused on closing the gap to Marie. By the second climb I had reeled in some good distance and closed it on the switch back climb. After the next woods section I attacked and passed her into the descent. From there till mid 4th lap I lead the race. I knew Marie was having some sort of trouble as I gained 20secs on her after the tech zone where I presumed she stopped. Many thoughts were going through my head. Am i super peaked...my gap was now up to 1 min, is she trying to give me the jersey, is she pacing to come back with a killer last 2 laps?

I had been able to ride really comfortably and put time into her and Wendy who was riding an amazing race. But 3rd lap Marie was putting time into me and I knew I had to step it up. Mid 4th lap Marie caught me, but I was able to stick close to her. She put about 12 seconds into me going inot last lap. I still was feeling good though and focused on closing the gap on the climb. I climbed well and heading into the descent I heard people yelling for Marie to get back on her bike as I was coming. AS she was remounting I slipped by on the right. We then headed to the neck climb with her on my wheel. As the climbed opened up we went side by side and had to veer out to overtake a lapped rider (that must have been weird for her to have us charging by on eother side!) I made it into the switchbacks first and climbed steadily not wanting to make a mistake. Marie surged by at the top and got first wheel into the woods. She made a series of dabs, but it was too tight to get by. we ended up running up the technical terrain side by side trying not to run into trees. she got on her bike first and I followed her down the next descent. On the next climb Keith was hoarsely yelling at me to attack. I did and got in 6 seconds on MHP. We were headed to the final section of the course...and the section I knew she was riding much better. I was able to hold her off for most of it, holding off one attack, but she got by me with a couple minutes to go and held on for a win of 5.5 seconds!

Had you told me the night before that it would be that close a race I would have been surprised and stoked. Coming that close to the win and loosing it though was tough. It was a mixture of great satisfaction and strong dissappointment that Icrossed the line second. I'm hoping to use the feeling of unfinished business at the world cup this weekend where I get called up second!

Back to canada

Keith and I left New York monday morning and headed for Montreal. It was a good drive through lots of great rolling hills. We stopped for a bit of a bushwacking ride in the adarondacs before heading on to montreal...where I think they are rebuilding every road overpass.

In Montreal we spent the night with my friend Heather and her roomies near mount royal. We checked out some fresh bagels being made and got some for tuesday breakfast and then headed out for Mexican food and 400 centenial beer.

Before heading on to MSA we had our Bagel breakfast and did a ride on Mount Royal wher we passed moms doing uphill aerobics with their baby carriages. Yeah that's right

I think I like short tracks now

Like Criteriums, short track races used to inspire intense feelings of dread and anguish. I just hurt the whole time to suck at the race. 3 years later they are starting to be a lo9t of fun. Although ST mornings I usually wake up wondering how I will ever manage to go that hard in a couple hours an early morning spin and then a good warm up has me ready to go at race time.

The short track race in Windham was the best one yet for the men and women. It was a good course for short track. 2 short popper climbs, a descent and some flat stretches so places to attack, recover, attack. Georgia and Katerina got away early...and I had my best race start ever! I was in a chace group made of largely of Canadains (Wendy, Mical, Emily and Heather Irmiger and Sue Buttler). The race was interesting for me. I had 2 team mates up the road so I either had to sit in or get a clean attack away from the group with out dragging other girls up. Georgia was looking vulnerable ahead so brining the chase group up could have been bad. This meant I got to try to launch repeated attacks to split the group up hoping one would eventually work. Our chase group always came back together though with other girls attacking or bidging. with 2 laps to go Wendy got away and looked like she would take third, until Mical showed her cards bridging up to Wendy and outriding her for the final podium spot. Good job girls.


Thursday I flew into Albany from Kamloops as Keith was driving up from New Brunswick. Eastern US and Canada is beautiful with tons of lush green deciduous trees and rolling hills. The course here is fun. It has a long climb that winds in and out of the woods over lots of slate rock and then descends down a fast twisty trail. The women only had to race 3 laps which was actually kinda nice as it meant a sub 1hr30 race.

From the gun Georgia took the lead and I was able to grab 3rd wheel behind Lea Davison. By the top of the climb I had closed on Georgia and grabbed the lead. It was short lived however as she passed me back on the descent when I went wide on a corner. Georgia opened on me and I opened on Katerina. From there on out the race for the podium stayed the same. We were all riding similar to each other, one of us gaining 5 seconds in one section only to loose 5 seconds to that person in another section.

We’ve got short track tomorrow, then Monday we are driving to Quebec. Amanda, Kaesy, Mical, Keith and I are all planning a stop for some good trail riding on the way and then Keith and I will stay in Montreal to visit our friend Heather and do some sightseeing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Meet Olly

So I return home from Europe late on the 23. As I set my bags down just inside the front door I notice a picture of a kitten.

Me: Keith, why do we have a picture of a kitten?

K: Because we’re getting one Friday

M: Haha. No we’re not

K: Ummm, yeah we are. My coworker had kittens

M: Your going to become a crazy cat man (he’s already adopted 2 from the school)

K: But I need them. You’re away too much

So what can I say to that? Olly is now part of the family, attacking legs and any other moving object and quickly establishing himself in the household with the other cats. He was the runt of his litter but was attacking our huge cat Isaa by day one.

Congrats to Keith and his athletes

Matt, Daniel, Jean ann and Craig

Keith and his athletes have just completed a very successful Canada Cup campaign.
Jean Ann Mckirdy claimed the win in the women’s series, while Matt Hadley, Craig Ritchey and Daniel Sessford all claimed top 10’s in 4th, 7th and 9th respectively.

Look out for these riders to put out strong performances at Canadian Nationals July 19th in Mont Saint Anne, Quebec.