A big congratulations to Jim Weir for taking 11th place in the Master B 2012 Ontario Provinicial Championship Road Race on Sunday!
Jim lined up along with Quentin Broad and myself for what promised to be a fairly epic road race - long, fast straight-aways; a long slightly twisty 2 km descent; some small rolling hills; and a long grinder of a climb, 2-3 times longer than Effingham but thankfully nowhere near as steep (but, as many people will tell you, it was steep enough!).
The weather played a big role in the race - the race started off pretty sunny, and very hot - OCA extended the feed zone opening times it was so hot - but on lap four it started to get pretty dark and soon it was raining hard. Where we had been baking in the heat 30 minutes earlier, we were now shivering as we descended at 75 km/h soaking wet. I had to laugh as the 60 sunblock I had dutifully slathered on myself was now forming white rivets as it ran into my clothes. As a concession to the heat and likely sweat-fest, I even wore gloves (which I detest) to ensure a good grip on the bar and on bottles at the feed-zone, and which now were 500g sponges that squished water down my bike as I gripped the drops and tried to pick a line more or less free of puddles on the descent.
In what I think is a first for OCA racing, midway through lap 5 of our 8 lap race the race was neutralized due to lightening. There was a lot of confusion over what this meant, but we were slowly paced back to the start/finish area where we were told we would need to wait at least 30 minutes for the lightening to clear and then the race would restart.
Each of us had planned for everything, we though - between the three of us and our feed zone volunteers, we had some 20 gallons of water, but as you can see, we had to improvise some shelter from the rain.
When the race was restarted, the distance was shortened by a lap, and any riders off the back of lead group were not allowed to restart. Unfortunately, Quentin and I were included in this group and dutifully assigned a "DNF" placing, but Jim lined up the carry the BCC flag.
On the final two laps, the Wheels of Bloor team did what they'd been doing all day - jacked the pace up so that flats section were raced at 50km/h, and the climbs were completed at a grueling pace designed to shell anyone slightly struggling. In the end, it was a WOB podium sweep, but Jim finished in the main group, just outside top ten.