Niagara Classic R.R. O-Cup #5 - Sunday May 19th 2013 - Recap

So I met the group @ 7am this morning before heading off to see some of our guys race in the Niagara Classic R.R. O-Cup #5.  How was everyone's Ride???

We decided to go right to the Effingham hill climb, otherwise known as the "F-ingham" hill climb.  The race is quite difficult and by 10am, it started to really get hot.  Anyways, not much of a writer, so here is the link to the results:


Our BCC guys rode hard, and finished well!





Mouck and McKeever Tag teaming the "F-ingham" Hill in the S4 Race:


Videos to come...

Views: 680

Comment by Paul McKeever on May 20, 2013 at 9:05am

Awesome to have video evidence of our suffering. Also, thanks so much for the support and encouragement on that beast of a climb Lana and Dan! Do you have a video of the last S4 time up the climb? That was a brutal attack from the guy from Bikes on Wheels who won our race. He was all over his machine.

Comment by DY on May 20, 2013 at 9:13am

Video is uploading...

Comment by David Raponi-Monk on May 20, 2013 at 10:24am

Great videos! Thanks Dan and Lana for supporting the guys racing. We missed you on the Sunday ride, but great results once again. 

Comment by Peter Sutton on May 20, 2013 at 2:15pm

Awesome videos, Dan and Lana.  Thanks for the support!

First, congratulations to Andrew and Paul for their 5th and 12th place finishes, respectively, in the S4 category.  Well done!  And congratulations also to Jim Weir and Patryk Bielgaski for 9th and 10th place in M2.  Excellent showing!


Jim, Patryk, Peter Skalenda, and I lined up under BCC colours for the M2 race; 75km featuring six ascents up Effingham.

Not wanting to contest a finish line sprint, and figuring the hill would become a launching pad for all sorts of attacks, the plan was to cover potential breaks the first couple of laps, and make sure we have representation in any important moves.  By the third lap, if no significant moves had been made, Patryk was going to attempt a move of his own.  If Pat was somehow unable, Jim's a backup.

Well, that was the plan.  If you haven't tackled it at full race pace, you may just not appreciate how difficult the Effingham hill climb really is. On the first lap I finished the climb in third place, with riders from Morning Glory, CHCH, and Cyclepath Oakville in close proximity - all strong teams, and all likely to try and make a go at it.  Watch the video and see how many seconds are between the lead riders and the main bunch.  This is when putting the hammer down will just splinter the entire group and lead to a breakaway.

At the head of the group, everyone is expecting an attack.  I'm up the hill, right where I'm supposed to be to cover an attack but I'm exhausted and not feeling confident about my ability to respond whenever the pace jumps.  My legs are burning.  In the meantime, the lead rider's breathing sounds like he's having an asthma attack.  He's flicking his elbow, imploring someone to come around and take the lead.  Someone is yelling at him to "go, go, go", but he's looking like he's about the puke all over the road.  A Morning Glory rider comes around.  All hell is about to break loose...

Except nothing happens.  I'm extremely thankful, and as we start the descent down Tice Road, I allow myself to slip back into the protection of the group.

That turned out to be a mistake, as four riders used the descent to establish a breakaway.  Having slipped back, there was no way for me to jump into the group or even to have pushed the pace slightly to keep the attack in check (if my legs allowed, of course). Fortunately, none of the major teams were represented in the break, so I was reasonably confident that MG, CHCH, Cyclepath, et al. would keep the break on a short leash and will reel them in in a lap or two.  Pat's big break is delayed until then; perhaps he'll be able to counter attack when the break is caught. 

I spent the next few laps much the same way, covering jumps off the front at the top of the hill in case there's an attempt to bridge to the lead riders.  The pace up the hill is faster now, or at least it feels faster.  My legs hurt and my breathing is laboured on every climb, but in a weird way I actually feel pretty good.   I've learned not to drop back on the descent.  No one else jumps away, and existing breakaway has started to falter and looks like it will be eventually swept up long before the race ends.

Unfortunately, my race ends thanks to a dropped chain at the base of the climb and a course navigation error.  I've got a chain catcher, but the chain jammed between the catcher and the small ring, forcing me to dismount. I climbed the hill alone, and started to time trial to catch onto the back of the group.  Unfortunately, the turns aren't marked and a turned at the wrong spot.  I didn't realize until it was too late, and I was DQ'd for a course violation. 

The only solace I have is that I voluntarily reported myself to the commissionaires and dropped out of the race (I didn't know that I'd already been DQ'd), so I hopefully I've avoided a fine.

Comment by Jim Weir on May 20, 2013 at 6:28pm
Great to see all BCCers at the race. A real team feeling on a great warm and sunny race day. Thank you Dan, Lana and Bernadette for the support. Thanks again to Bernadette for packing some cold beers to be shared with the Peters after the race. Looking forward to KW in two weeks.
Comments on the race... that effin hill is tough and painful every time. Field sprint finish was a blast.
Comment by Jeff N on May 20, 2013 at 8:01pm

great report, Effingham is a beast of a hill, I can only imagine how much that really hurts to go up at race pace, not just once but a whole bunch of times!  BCCers are showing up, congrats for another bunch of great finishes.


Comment by Paul van Dongen on May 21, 2013 at 10:44am

Thanks for the posts on the race, to Dan and Lana for all that video evidence and congrats to all racers for all those great results. Our group had a nice ride to Unionville via 19th if anyone wants to know…

Comment by Paul McKeever on May 21, 2013 at 2:02pm

Sorry for the late post on this.

Congratulations to all BCCers this past weekend – some really impressive results were put up. I parrot what others said with regards to the unparalleled support we receive from the BCC membership, the good preparation this community has provided us with to push ourselves, and the sense of camaraderie we’ve already developed as a race team. Also, not knowing that Dan and Lana were coming made seeing them at the top of the steep portion of the climb a real treat! I also found that having someone rooting for you when you’re on your limit really helps you push yourself.

Going into this race I was pretty nervous. Not only because I had set the bar kind of high for myself due to our results from the week before but also because this past Sunday represented much more ideal racing conditions and I knew that the boys would come out swinging a lot harder… and they did indeed!

After the Tuesday ride, I had what appeared to be the initial stages of a tired right knee. I kept my training light from that point on and it seemed to work well. By race day, my knee was only whispering instead of yelling at me. Thankfully, it didn’t appear to be a big issue on Sunday. However, I’m going to have to remind myself to rest it a bit in preparation for the TNT Hairshirt ride later in June.

From the start of the race, I knew it was going to be a tough day. Most of the climbing I’m used to does not push my heart rate into the 180s. For this race, every time I took on the steep portion of the Effingham climb, my heart rate would spike over 180, making it incredibly difficult to stay in contact (my max HR is about 185). I think the last time up the hill when the 7-man break formed speaks for itself, since I was barely able to cling onto Andrew’s wheel as we crested the climb. Thank god for Dan (and Andrew’s wheel), because I don’t know if I would have been able to keep contact without his coaching at that moment J I still don’t know if it was just the day for me or if it was the sheer speed at which the S4 group climbed the hill. Maybe both, but I suspect the latter may have been a factor! Importantly, I’ve learned that race pace is a different kind of beast. You really have to be prepared to go from an extended period of zone 4 to a zone 5 interval at any given moment. This will certainly factor better into my training in future.

Anyway, I think it was on the 2nd last lap that Andrew asked me if we should stick to our plan A (included forming a break on the last climb and a 2km run-in plan for whoever of us had the legs at the end). I said sure to that idea, but it became obvious that I wouldn’t be much help in executing the plan once we reached the Effingham climb for the last time. Due to some poor positioning on my part when we hit the bottom, I was stuck about 10-12 riders back from the front of the group (not a good place to be when a massive attack is launched off the front). When I saw Cameron from Bikes on Wheels go, I was forced to navigate through a bunch of other riders at varying points in their race to get to Andrew’s wheel. Thankfully, I got there but it cost me a heck of a lot! As a result, I lost contact with Andrew’s wheel a couple times on the descent and wasn’t able to calm down into a rhythm until we got our rotating paceline going. I remember Cameron saying to the group after a few rotations: “Now THIS is how you race bicycles”. I smiled and nodded in agreement.

The break worked together brilliantly on Tice Rd. and for the first half of Maple. At some point either before or after we turned onto Kilman, 6 chasers caught our break of 7. At this point, you could really sense the reluctance of the group to come forward to do any work since we now had 13 eager and strong riders charging the line. Most of them seemed quite content to put me and the strong independent rider that came to be known that day as the “guy in yellow” up front to pull for as long as possible. I think that moment on the front was actually our best chance of losing some of the field. Since we were approaching the curvy descent into the foothills of the Effingham climb, this would have been a good moment to open up a gap since many riders aren’t confident descending into turns at high speeds. Even though Andrew and I had discussed a plan that included this strategy, knowing that I had a dozen guys behind me, not feeling comfortable with how much I had left in the tank, and not knowing exactly where Andrew was behind me really killed my confidence to try anything at that point. I decided then that I would try to just keep contact with any attack that went and hopefully one of us would be in an ideal position for the sprint finish.

The scrappiness started pretty much as we made our right turn onto Effingham. I made the corner in 3rd position and ended up on the very rough right side of the road, bouncing too and fro to keep contact with the ever-increasing pace. Most of the riders that managed to stay near the front into the last left-hand turn onto Metler remained on the left side of Effingham. When we made the left-hand turn onto Metler, I was caught out on the right side of the pack and had to take the turn wide to make sure I didn’t tangle with anyone and cause a pointless crash. When this happened, I lost a lot of speed and watched everyone pull away at breakneck speed. I tried to pick it up a bit, but saw that it was too late so I yelled as loudly as I could to Andrew to “Go get em!” He responded in kind and put an awesome sprint that nearly scored him a podium finish! I sorta waddled to the line, battered and beaten (check out the video for evidence of that – hehe). Overall, I was really happy to have finished with the front group, but really learned a hard lesson about positioning at a sprint finale! Needless to say, I will give this race another shot next season – it was a lot more fun than my blog post sounds. :D

TLDR: Ouch!

Comment by qb on May 22, 2013 at 8:46pm

Great work to all, the Effingham climb is as tough as it sounds and you all conquered the beast in fine form. Huge congrats!



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