The 2015 BCC Race season has commenced and everyone was excited/anxious to get off on the right foot with the Good Friday Road Race (GFRR) this past weekend. While I will get the ball rolling with an initial post, I ask my teammates to respond and provide further details based on their race experiences. In the past, BCC has usually put forth both a men’s Elite-4 and Master-3 team, but this year the decision was made to merge the two and form a large Elite-4 team. A team that could draw upon a large pool of riders and focus on team strategy/tactics.
GFRR Race Team participants/placing:
Click here for the full results!
Due to the nature of this particular race, the initial strategy was to have the full team at the front from the very start of the race. All good intentions, as we found ourselves scattered amongst the pack, which meant we needed to upgrade our individual positions throughout the race. Each of us did well to better our position, but sometimes the race course/peloton just doesn’t want to cooperate. It’s well known that GFRR produces some horrific crashes, and this race had its fair share, but the team came away in pretty good shape.
Lap 1 was a way for all the riders to feel good about being back on the road, get comfortable with the course and check out the competition. Of course, always a little excitement and it was a little nervous to see one of our top riders (Alex Mulholland) hit the ground early. He dusted himself off, hopped back on the bike and started to climb back up the group. I think everyone was gripping the handlebars pretty tight on that first lap.
Lap 2 found the pace pick up a bit as the main group exited the fairgrounds and everyone accelerated to better their positions. A quick break formed, which helped thin out the group and allowed for riders to move up, but it was quickly pulled back. Looking back on that point, it put the majority of our team in the front and perhaps the team should have pushed a little harder as the group on the front didn’t seem to want to work. Not much more happened after that as the group maintained itself into the third lap.
Lap 3 is where all hell broke loose!!! On Book Road, as you make your way back to the fairgrounds, it seemed as if the group was getting a little complacent. I can’t tell you for sure what happened, but one second you are beside someone and then they are on the ground, while you are trying to dodge bikes/humans/race officials (I believe 16 riders DNF’d, due to this). While Mark and Alex had safely made their way to the front, John, Chris and myself found ourselves mid-pack. This is not where we planned or wanted to be, but it can happen very quickly. John went down! Chris got held behind and I ended up on the other side of the road, almost in the ditch. I was able to get the bike back on the road and burned a match catching up to the front group, while John found himself working like a madman, with 4 others, to get back onto the group. Chris unfortunately, was not that lucky and was caught behind the group and was just trying to make his way through the carnage.
Lap 4 turned out be an uneventful lap, until the last turn. Everyone held their positions and there was not much room to allow you to move up in the pack. Everyone was keeping a watchful eye out to see who would be the rider/team to push hard in preparation for a sprint finish. As we turned back onto Trinity Road, the pace picked up considerably and riders jostling for position at the front. Mark and Alex were at the front and looking to put in a solid sprint to the finish. John and I were desperately trying to move up the pack to have a chance at a strong sprint finish. John was able to get around the group and grab a position up the pack. I can’t comment on what happened at the very front, but I can tell you that as we turned into the fairgrounds for the final stretch, two riders in front of me went down and caused me to put on the breaks/sliding sideways. I managed to keep the bike upright and chose to count my blessings and cruise across the line just happy to be on the bike and not under it.
Considering how the race unfolded, I am extremely happy/proud with our first race of the season and the team showed that conditioning/form should not be an issue for upcoming races. The team is already planning and looking forward to the next race at Calabogie, where we all agree to leave nothing in the tank and make more of an impact.
Congrats to BCC Races across all categories – it was a great day and thanks to the following:
See you at Calabogie!