Monday, May 21, 2007

THE BOB REPORT

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen this is the BOB Report.

Day One 8.5 km ITT

After spending a portion of the day cycling around Saskatoon and scoping out the marathon route (which my wife Celine will be running next weekend) and the ITT route I had a good feeling about the up-coming race. Sign on started @ 4:30 and it was interesting to see the Sask riders making last minute decisions as to which categories they would ride this weekend, not sure I would want the added pressure of picking my Cat before a race but since I ride in Alberta it’s not my problem I guess. Great it’s raining now! Well at least the wind has died down a bit from this afternoon. Start time 6:57:30.
I did my usual warm up on the trainer while ingesting my pre-race goodies which will remain secret at this time. I arrive at the line just moments before my start. 1 2 3 GO TIME!!!! I hear Steve and Frank yelling encouragement and from the corner of my eyes I see Steve running as well. It’s a real blast to have friends around!! First corner… HOLLY CRAP MAN I almost hit the deck!!! OK FOCUS…Although the rain has stopped the road is very wet with numerous puddles about. YES…I am getting my TT legs back as I just smoked past one of my cat 4 opponents. Time at the line 12:01. I am happy, that’s a huge improvement over last year and in worse conditions.

Day Two 86 km Road Race

I am very nervous today as this is my first real road race since moving up to Cat 4 and to add to the pressure I am currently in 5th spot on the GC after the Time Trial. After getting some last minute advice from Steve it was time to go to the staging area. Man these dudes look fast!! The race starts and the first portion is with a wicked tail wind and as expected the pace is fast…stay close to the front but out of the wind. As usual there is the required confusion at the first turn around point but once that gets sorted out the bunch is all back together and riding into the wind. Even more important to stay close to the front but out of the wind as the pace slowly starts to wind up. I have the names and numbers memorized of the guys ahead of me in the GC and I am going to shadow them like a bad smell. As we get close to the second turn around it’s time to pay attention and sure enough there goes a bunch of us, me included, in an attempt at a break away but unfortunately it fails. Just after the turn around another shot!!! But it too gets pulled back and to add insult to injury the wind has shifted and it’s going to be a wicked head wind all the way back to the line. The pace was quite strong despite the wind and people were starting to pop off the back. For a brief moment I thought I was going to pop as well but I dug deep and managed to claw my way back onto the tail end of the lead group. Once recovered I worked myself back to my cozy spot of 4th to 8th wheel. Oddly enough with only approx 1500 meters to go I found myself right at the front and no one seemed to be around me however that changed really fast around the 700 meter mark as it seemed everyone one was there at the same time and after the same line. I gave it one more charge and to my huge surprise I started passing riders left right and centre till I crossed the line in seventh position!! I had successfully defended my 5th spot on the GC!!


Day Three CRIT 35min + 3 Laps

Luckily the rain has held off and the roads are just a little damp. The crit starts and I am stuck behind two guys who can’t seem to get clipped in. The long line develops and all ready the pace is through the roof and I have some serious ground to make up. Mental note next time start right at the front!! Again I had to dig deep to make up ground but lap after lap I gained on a few more riders until I reached my desired “resting” place, you guessed it 4th to 8th wheel. Strategy…at this pace all I can do is hang on in the hope of defending my 5th GC spot. Prime lap F^$#&^$K, I am barely hanging on by my finger nails. OH Thank god they shut it down at the front after crossing the line. A few more laps and crash number one goes down. Prime lap F$#@%K, I am barely hanging on by my finger nails. OH Thank god they shut it down at the front after crossing the line. A few more laps and crash number two goes down…it’s Brad, the third man on GC!! Stay FOCUSED James!!! Prime lap F*&^%&^*K I am barely hanging on by my finger nail and this time I know damn well they won’t shut it down because there is only five minutes left to race…Digging deep lap 1…still in there…Digging even deeper lap 2…still in there…Make a vain attempt at passing a few riders, lap 3, did I mention it was a vain attempt!! Dug really really deep…the line!!!! Sixth to cross!!!

Results:
Frank 4th on GC Cat 3
Steve DNF Cat 1/2 (Suffered back problems during Day 2)
James 4th on GC Cat 4

Full Results found here

3 comments:

Rob said...

Nice one James! Congrats on the placing and thanks for the report, it sounds like good times.

Trev said...

Yah, great race report. We want to see those from everyone soon !

Trev

Peter Lawson said...

Sweet write up James. Thank you!

Huge congrats on a successful weekend too!

cheers

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