BCC women on the podium again at the KW Classic!

This past Sunday June 5th was the Kitchener-Waterloo Classic Road Race, part of the Ontario Cup series.   Once again the BCC women represented with solid podium placings!

Big congrats to Aubrie and Ivana for fighting hard to earn more medals for the cabinet, and placing so well in a tough group sprint.

A big shout out to Simon Kelley as well, for placing so well in the Men's M3 race (14th in a VERY large field), after being involved in a hard breakaway so close to the end of the race.

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." - Muhammad Ali

For those of you that like a little data, here's my strava from the E4 men's race.

The course consists of roughly 10km laps, the number of laps depending on your category. The E4 category was 6 laps for a total of 62.5km.

Each lap stars with a 1.5->2 minute ride up Hawksville Hill. Not the steepest of hills but enough to sting the legs. Following the climb is a short, very fast decent. The remainder of the lap is a series of rollers and another short climb.

The finish features a long straight away leading into a short, FAST right turn and then an all out sprint for the line. It makes for a pretty exciting and lung shattering finish.

I can share with you a brief run down of how the Men's E4 race unfolded:

The E4 race started VERY slow, felt like a sunday group ride to Stouffville for the first couple of laps. No one wanted to attack from so far out, and no one was interested in beating up their legs driving the peloton so early on. There were also very few teams with more than 1 or 2 riders in the E4 race, which made the strategy for the race a bit more 'dog-eat-dog'.

While a few attacks were made on the later laps on Hawksville Hill, none of them stuck. On the 4th attempt we actually broke the peloton roughly in half on the climb, but as no teams had enough legs to drive the pace, and no one was interested in burning all their matches, the break didn't hold together.

With no teammates able to join me for the E4 race this year, I had no intention of marking and breaks, so I had the luxury of just following wheels throughout the race.

Coming into the finish was sketchy, alot of those "get your hips of my handlebars %#*&!" and "Hold your %#*& line" moments. With about 2km to go I was sitting around 6th wheel, and thought I'd situated myself on the wheel of one of the strongest sprinters in the group. I was gearing up for a big finish and thought to feature well.. until I realized the wheel I was holding was going backwards in the peloton and a mob was rolling over to the front. Amazing how quickly you can move from 6th wheel to 15th wheel.

Cavendish calls it being caught in a dishwasher.
I drowned.

Managed to pile a ton of watts into the final corner (thanks Turbo TUesday) and passed a bunch of riders in the finishing sprint. Finished 9th, landing my third top ten finish of this year's o-cup road season. I'd set a goal of a few top ten finishes coming into the season, feels pretty good to make it happen!

For those of you that like a little data, here's my strava from the E4 men's race.

Views: 243

Comment by DY on June 6, 2016 at 12:42pm
Yes! Humble riders with huge rewards! So proud!

Thanks for posting Alex.
Comment by Gordon Walker on June 6, 2016 at 5:00pm

congratulations everybody!

Alex, thanks for the write-up!

Comment by qb on June 6, 2016 at 9:17pm
Congrats to Aubrie and Ivana, placing in these races is quite an accomplishment. Racing in the OCA is very interesting relative to racing in triathlon, particularly at the ironman distance. The surges of the peloton and marking groups trying to escape play the legs in ways that a steady stream of low Z3 efforts certainly do not. I lost my M2 peloton on the back stretch of the 6th lap which was quite disappointing. It was clear that I needed to light several matches to stay on the wheels, because once lost, there ain't no catching a group of 20 riders. Unfortunately I didn't hold the wheel and so it meant the rest of the race became a pedestrian time trial. Good news is that there was limited sketchy drama in the M2 race and no crashes.
Comment by Jeff N on June 7, 2016 at 8:03am

Alex, nice recount.  Congrats to you for another top 10 and to the Aubrie and Ivana for the podiums!

Comment by James Eaton on June 7, 2016 at 8:29am

Amazing you two (Ivana and Aubrie) - very well done.  Also congratulations to Aubrie for getting the o-cup points required to move up for next year and only a couple finishes away from hitting the overall season podium (and with crits to come - looking great)!  And Ivana, keep it up!  You're currently sitting 3pts up over a woman from Novofit for #1 overall, with the two of you miles  ahead of the competition - finish strong!

Alex - sorry we left you solo for this one -  awesome job securing another top 10 finish - I think  you've got enough points to move up next year now if you want (need 30, right?).  Simon, another great finish, you're heading to M2 soon enough.  QB - completely get you.  I did the Milton Tri this weekend instead of KW and it's such a different riding experience - road racing is a hell of a lot tougher as it calls on muscles in different ways and is far less predictable/pace-able.  


Comment by Simon Kelley on June 7, 2016 at 11:36am

My race in M3 was a little like the E4 race. We had 65 riders, most of whom just wanted to ride tempo all the way round and wait for the sprint! I tried my best to animate the race and rode within positions 3 to 6 the whole race to go with any breaks that might form, but no one really wanted to go and commit to the break. I tried to stimulate a few but had no takers, so all i could do was go hard up the hill. Each time on the hill myself and a couple of others strung out the group but they always caught back up on the downhill side. Until i saw the photo attached i didn't realize how much the hill was hurting some of the other riders, and I was only going at about 85-90% to save myself for a later breakaway. Now i wish i had just gone harder up the hill. By the end of the race we had dropped 40 riders and were left with 25. I made a break with two others in the town before the hill and we had 5 seconds, but again couldn't make it stick over the hill. We ended up in a bunch sprint and, like Alex, I followed a wheel that went backwards, started drowning in the peleton and had to touch my brakes in the corner, which scrubbed enough speed that I was uncompetitive in the sprint. I was disappointed with 14th, as I felt that i had the strength to place top 5, but that's bike racing!! I'd do this race again tomorrow if i had the chance!!

Comment by Simon Kelley on June 7, 2016 at 11:37am

Comment by Alex Mulholland on June 7, 2016 at 12:28pm

love those shots Simon!  noticed that you were in the top few positions on almost all of the photos I saw.  you had some very pained faces in the peloton behind you ;)

Comment by Marc Des Rosiers on June 8, 2016 at 10:57am

Congratulations to Alex, Aubrie and Ivana.

I'm delighted to see you all succeed so spectacularly this year with many podiums.

Simon, your pictures show who's the boss! Maybe you should get a little rear view mirror attached to your helmet.

Comment by Ivana on June 13, 2016 at 3:51pm

I am of course a week late to see this, but thanks Alex for the posting and the podium pics, and everyone for the nice comments.  Race #5 of my 2016 "Learn to Race" season - check, plus another super fun day.  The wet and messy conditions were something new to me and driving over to Hawkesville in pouring rain was unnerving to say the least, but luckily the rain stopped just before our start time, the wind was not too bad and the girls rode safe and predictable.  I felt very comfortable in the peloton (unlike the first two races where I was mostly focusing on hanging on), and took my time to experiment with being in different spots, riding efficiently being aware of position, other riders, wind direction, etc.  Positioning for the sprint finish is something I still need to get better at but all in all, I was happy to finish in the 10th position overall and 3rd in Masters.  


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