This weekend was the first Ontario Cup of the season – a very nervous time indeed! The course was amazing with just the right amount of double track to space out the amazing singletrack. The venue was at Woonewton, and elite category is 5 laps with added technical sections; it’s a good thing that I got my new bike! This is the best partner someone could ask for during a race; the new Trek Superfly Elite SL (more on that later).
It was super nice to be back with my buddies that I haven’t seen since last season, and to really flex my legs for the first time this season. After pre-riding the course with the local legend Kelsey Krushel and following team Ontario Coach Mike Garrigan I felt confident in my handling abilities and my new bike.
The race itself was unlike any regular Ontario Cup - stacked category of 52 people, and pretty much a Canada Cup full of Quebecois racers. The start was hairy, I was stuck at the back, and as you could imagine the back of 52 super fast guys flying off into the trails.
The race started out with a sudden burst, and I tried my best to make up because I was frustrated about starting at the back of the pack. I wasn't feeling great, but I thought that was all just me trying to find my race pace again. Unfortunately I was a little wrong. The first lap I threw down the effort that I would have been able to put out on a good day in Arizona, which I paid for dearly. Laps 2 and 3 were rough, I seemed to have no punch to my pedalstroke, and it hurt! Half the way through my third lap I threw the hail Mary - a double espresso caffeinated gel with 50mg of caffeine, just enough to get me through the race!
I had always known that caffeine is a performance enhancer, but man does it have a strong effect on me because I don't drink the stuff. Being my first mountain bike race (and one of my first rides) of the season, I found difficulties handling my bike with the speeds that I had even the day before.
Big congratulations to all the brave riders that went out to the first Ocup, and thanks for the Quebec guys for coming and making our Ontario Cup series a bit more fierce!
Also big ups for Jon Slaughter, who really rode well in his first Ontario Cup since his broken neck (you may remember this post).
|Never, Ever sprint with your tongue out like this...However you will win sprints if you do...(Jim Cassel picture)|
|Barrelling into a rock garden in the lap area, thanks to Lori Bailey for posting online|
|Great photo thanks to Lori again for posting online.|
|Spectator section rock garden, this claimed some riders and wheels. (John Fisher photo)|
|It's always great to see my longtime buddy John cheering me up the hill,|
thanks for the photo and giving me something to smile about!
|Kelsey's section of the course, gnarly stuff! (John Fisher photo)|
|Roller coaster ride! (John Fisher photo)|