Well it was once again time to take a beating at the hands of Effingham. Being about 10 pounds heavier than last year and less base fitness, I knew at the start this was going to be painful. Emile, Austin and I got to the race site at about 7:30, lots of time to get ready although not enough time to actually get warmed up. No issues, that is what the first 11km of this race is all about. Kudos to the race organizers who learned something from good friday as the S4s and M3s were started in two waves given there were about 90 M3s registered. The start was good and everything was quite uneventful. It appeared that two guys went off the front early, which everyone discounted and clearly we shouldn't have.
By the third climb up effingham, I was being spat out the back as my lack of hill fitness in particular played a role. Each time, I had to get back onto the peloton but pushing hard, which probably did little to prepare me for the final climb. I could see emile and Patryk looking well positioned at or near the front of the main group (or little did we know what was the chase pack). I kept working with Peter Sutton to claw our way back onto the main group. After the fourth climb, i was dropped even farther and it made the catch exceptionally difficult. I kept trying to pick up riders one by one to create a chase group to bridge to the main peleton. We managed to get 5 guys working together to bring us back but we would never quite catch the peleton. As we turned onto effingham for the last climb, my legs were howling at me to stop this ridiculous endeavour. It was a very slow grind - i could have walked faster - but there was no succumbing to the hill. With cheers from Austin, Alexx,Trish, Brooke, Peter, DY, Lana, Jason and probably a few others, there was more than enough incentive to get to the top.

My garmin suggested an average speed of 35.1km/h, 43rd in the master 3 category. It is clear to me that the old men are getting tougher each year. Last year an average speed of 34.3 won the event and the year before that it was 35.1 with poor weather. The winner this year was 35.6km/h, although the peleton was probably closer to 35.3.

A great race, well organized, and huge call out of thanks to all of our BCC supporters, we probably had as many watching the race as we have racing the race. A BIG THANKS.

For the data junkies, here is my ride.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/34272661

Views: 48

Comment by DRU on May 23, 2010 at 4:39pm
Hey! Great job guys! Glad everyone raced safely!
Comment by Jeff N on May 23, 2010 at 5:27pm
Cool data from the Garmin, and great report. Glad you finished without scrapes, hopefully the others did too. Go BCC!
Comment by DY on May 23, 2010 at 6:50pm
Pics/Movies from the Race:

Comment by Peter Sutton on May 24, 2010 at 3:47pm
My wife and kids were there to cheer us on. I've attached some photos my family shot of the race:


As Quentin said, it was a tough, tough race. I lined up on the start with Patryk - not because I expected to finish there, but simply to be in the front on the downhill start (I wasn't taking any chances after the mayham of the Good Friday Road Race).

The first lap was quite tentative, with the exception of two people who broke away midway through the first lap. I was in the front of the peloton at the time with Patryk, and it seemed like everyone expected the breakaway to get swallowed up on the final climb (the infamous and aptly named Effingham Hill). Somehow, they managed to get far enough ahead to stay away for the entire race. Amazing effort on their part!

For the rest of us, the race was all about Effingham Hill. Get up the hill fast enough to be in the main group (or catch back on), sit in and recover. Repeat. Uggh.

Unfortunately, QB and I (and Mark Bailey) got spat out the rear of the main group on the second last climb and a sizeable gap was between us and the main group. A small group of us worked hard for the last lap to close the gap. Mark gave up the last of his legs to propel us along, and a few km later I had to simply plant myself on QB's wheel to stay in the game. However, our small group - down to only four riders by then - had got close enough to the main group at the base of Effingham Hill, that a few of us were able to finish the race with the rear stragglers of the main group.

Many thanks to my family, the BCC cheering squad (Jason C., Brooke, Dan and Lana, Trish and Rob, and Alexx and Paul) and Peter S. and Steve Fantaske (M2 riders) and their families for the support.

An especially big thank you to QB, who's efforts let me finish the race with a much better placing than I would have otherwise. He's got a lot of heart, as he let me suck his wheel and then urged me on after he had spent all of his energy!
Comment by Peter Sutton on May 24, 2010 at 3:56pm
One more thing; check out the race results, especially the M2 race:

http://www.ontariocycling.org/web_pages/results/ncresults_5.htm

Steve "Mr. Fantastic" Fantaske grabbed fourth place in M2. He'd be too modest to tell everyone, so I'm going to do it for him. Three other riders placed in the top 15 (Patryk, 11th in M3; Alex B., 12th in S4; and Demetre, 15th in M1).

Congratulations!
Comment by Alexx Hooper on May 25, 2010 at 10:39am
There's something very personal about watching a race, especially at the top of such a steep hill. Brooke and I were saying that we were truly seeing you guys at your best and worst at the same time; you're putting it all out there for everyone to see. We could feel the pain of the hill coming through in all of your faces and the intense concentration that it takes to not only keep up with the other competitors, but to gage at what point you can pass someone, or gain an extra second on someone who is suffering more than you are. It was almost like watching a game of painful Tetras - seeing a spot and giving it all you could to squeeze in and pass or overtake someone. I was very impressed by all the efforts to repeatedly make it up that hill. Great job, all of you. I'm sorry we only stayed around for the first race - I would have loved to stay and watch Steve F. finish fourth!!!!! and Peter S., Demetre, and Marc Booth finish as well - you guys were all amazing!

Patryk must be some kind of super-human cyborg, because after the race he went for a 70km ride with Brooke, Trish, Rob, Paul and I through Niagara, up and down the escarpment! Maybe he's just a glutton for punishment :)

Thanks for the excellent entertainment! And Congratulations, all!

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Cycling in the summer can be about casual riding, sprinting, spinning, big-ring hammerfests or what ever your chosen type of riding is. The BCC was founded for the sole purpose to network cyclists. It has grown into a successful club which accommodates Riders at almost all skill/fitness levels. Everyone should be able to participate and have fun at their respective levels.

 

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