Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bikes On Broadway Race Recap


This past weekend Jason Buijs, Michael Godfrey and myself raced at Bikes on Broadway in Saskatoon. This is a great race put on by the Cycledelia club in Saskatoon. Typical 3 day stage race with a time trial, road race and criterium over the May long weekend.

The time trial was the first night with ideal conditions for racing. It was warm and sunny, tailwind, and lots of spectators. We got our starting positions and then proceeded to start warming up. Michael had some issues with his Zip wheel and had to change it at the last minute. He was super focused dealing with that, especially just before his start time. I am amazed how he quickly swapped his rear cassette from one bike to another, it was like a magician. I would have been a blubbering mess breaking things with my Leathermen handtool!

Jason road a super steady time trial. The course has lots of potholes and tricky spots for handling. He was super cool as he motored down the course. He slid in the middle of the pack and was looking good.

Michael, the professor of time trial was totally focused on his race. The holders were great this year, they didn't drop him! His time reflected his course knowledge, excellent conditions and a fast start. An excellent 6th place finish was the rewards of his efforts.

I was supposed to be the last rider so that changed my focus. I wanted to ride pretty hard and try and get a good position in the GC. I felt pretty strong after the C4 race and wanted to build on that in Saskatoon. Singing "Seek and Destroy" in my head, I was trying to catch anyone and everyone down the road. I glanced at my HR monitor a couple of times to make sure I was in the right zone and slid in with a reasonable time. The sun shines on a dog's ass once in a while and I posted best time for Cat4.

The road race had very warm and sunny conditions with the wind direction completely reversing from the time trial. The road is undulating and similar to the ride out to Madden. There were some attacks from the beginning by Juventus - Darren. Nobody was letting any escapes go at all. Darren and I both took turns out front playing with the group. Not trying to tempo, breakaway effort and resting. Everyone meant business.

We made the turnaround and headed south with a big tailwind. The silliness started on some downhills. Not sure why riders felt that was a good time to launch some attacks. You need to be super human to pull that move off! Lots of accelerations on the hillclimbs. Jason pulled out to the front and had a go to try and change the motivation of the race. He was quickly joined and then had to sit up with a charging group of 30 riders.

Michael set pace on most of the climbs. That guy has lots of moxie and the group was getting stretched by his pace. I was sitting in doing no work as GC leader. Patrolling the front was Michael's job, I was talking about TT, handlebar sumo's and new albums coming out this summer. After the last turnaround and heading home in a headwind, the group started to take shots at each other. Team Manitoba - Woodland had the numbers in the group and they were sitting in. Michael was stretching the guys out again and setting a harder pace. 

Juventus - Lance and I watched the groups and then made a series of surges to try and change the pace. We had a few good rotations but could not shake the charging group. As we approached the final climb, ERTC - Travis pulled a solid attack and had the gap. It was a strong move and the boys had to work to real him in. Manitoba was now at the front, showing all of their cards.

As we approached the final turn it was a mass bunch sprint. Jason was super strong and roared past me. I was on the left handside holding a line against the yellow line, hoping to catch some wheels. Instead I was swarmed from the outside by at least 2 sketchy riders that should have been disqualified. The finish was really sketchy with dangerous moves. The Manitoba boys had strong riders with questionable handling skills and there could have been issues. My Aunt told me later that the second place finisher nearly sawed a cat in half that had made its way onto the course. I finished with the group and happy that I was not involved in any crashes, there were lots of scary moments in the final 250 meters.

The Monday crit race took place in very difficult racing conditions. The temperature had dropped at least 15 degrees overnight and it was very windy. I had a 1 second lead going in and wanted to try to stay with the leading riders. The crit was pretty tough going, Manitoba had the numbers and blocked me out. The road is similar to the main street in Bagdad, tons of potholes and lots of debris. I had some really bad lines and nearly shook my molars out of my head.

Jason and Michael rode really strong in the crit. Both of them cornered really well with solid lines and represented Speed Theory with flying colours. I worked really hard to hang on to the back of the lead group. I was not aggressive enough when I needed to be and watched my race lead evaporate on every prime leap. As the race got longer I felt stronger, the hard efforts at the start took the hard jam out of my legs though.

All in all, a great weekend for us. Jason finished 17th, Michael finished in a tie for 7th and I finished 3rd.

Thanks for a great weekend guys.

Slayer Dan

1 comment:

Lockie said...

Great work, Slayer. Sounds like a great weekend of racing!!

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