Race Report - Jim Weir takes 11th at 2012 Ontario Provinicial Championship Road Race!!!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Views: 479

Comment by Peter Sutton on July 16, 2012 at 9:52am
Although many, many riders were dropped because of the pace that would be set on the climb up the "big hill", I was happy at the way that part of the race was unfolding.  However, it was very surprising at how quickly people would just disappear from the group on the climb.
I actually got dropped at the feed zone of all places - the run into the zone was a sea of broken asphalt and I didn't know how to ride through it at speed, so I would lose at lot of places as we approached the zone.  On the fourth lap I wound up 20 m off the back of the group as a result of my skills deficiency, and combined with a bad feed (my feed zone volunteer committed the ultimate sin and didn't let go of the bottle as I took it, literally nearly pulling me off the bike), I was too far off the pace to chase back into the group.
However, I did gave chase and passed quite a few riders on the big hill.  At the top of the hill I caught and passed James Bongard, a M1 racer from Sound Solutions who had been dropped by the main group.  James and I decided to work together to try and bridge back, but weren't able to before the race was neutralized.
In retrospec, I didn't ride this race very smart - I wound up too far back in the group at the start and didn't make enough effort to move up. The yo-yo'ing at the back associated with the surges on the false flats, combined with the initial heat, was costing me a lot of energy which is probably why I couldn't latch back after the 4th feed.  I put too much stock in moving up on the climbs, but really I was just dodging struggling riders - moving up in the rankings because the group was getting smaller, but not actually moving towards the front of the group.  At the finish of the climb on the second lap I thought there would be 10-15 riders behind me and I was shocked to discover that I was literally the last rider in the group.
Comment by Peter Sutton on July 16, 2012 at 9:54am

Also congratulations to BCC club member Leslie Horn who took the silver medal in the Women's Master A race, riding for Cyclepath Oakville Race Team. 

 

Way to go!!!!!

Comment by Paul McKeever on July 16, 2012 at 3:47pm

Hot damn those are some good results! Congrats, everyone!

Comment by qb on July 16, 2012 at 9:41pm

A huge congrats to Jim, this was a phenomenal result for any number of reasons.

1. Second most competitive group of the day with an average speed of 39.5km/h

2. hot muggy conditions made for a sufferfest (so says strava on my effort and I didnt make it to the finish line http://app.strava.com/rides/13505323#244711859 )

3. of the top 20 riders 15 were M1, 3 were M2 and 2 were M3 - Jim's a M3 racer

4. In the final bunch sprint, he kicked the butt of 8 M1 racers in that top 20 group (a whole bunch more of the 42 finishers) - made all the more impressive when you know that the M1 racers are truly racing as teams, strategically pushing certain racers to the front in support of their key sprinters which became even more of an advantage given the race was settled with a 2 lap sprint following the lightening delay.

 

For me, I had a disappointing outcome of not getting a restart after falling back off the peloton on the lap 2 climb. My mistake of not moving to the front of the goup ahead of the climb and allowing myself to catch a wheel at the top of the hill. Instead I had to go hard to catch and never made it back on. Bad tactics and a fall-off in riding frequency since ATOC can't be overcome when you are racing at this calibre.

A special call-out to my son Corbin who came out to be feed zone crew - it is generally not at the top of every 18 yr olds list to come stand in the rain and hand dad some bottles and take pictures of the old men racing - but he delivered without one snide comment!

I will add a link with further pictures from the day.

Comment by Alexx Hooper on July 17, 2012 at 9:15am

Always great to hear these race stories, everyone! Sounds like a weird and epic day with all the weather. Great job, Peter, QB, Jim and Leslie! Love the photos!

Comment by qb on July 17, 2012 at 8:13pm

https://picasaweb.google.com/qbroad/ProvincialRoadRace2012?authuser...

here are phots from the day, you have to look real hard in the sprint finish to see Jim on the left hand side - look for a left shoulder with a cycle solutions logo - that's Jim.

qb

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