Friday, November 12, 2010

Cyclocross National Championships Weekend – Toronto, ON

This past weekend around 18 Albertans flew to Toronto for back to back cyclocross races Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was the main event, Canadian National Championships. Alberta had a great showing, and had at least one racer in every single category. Not only that, but we also had at least one or two racers in the top 10 in every single category. Way to go Alberta!

Races started early on Saturday morning, with the Master Women and Master C men starting at 9am. It was cool, dark and frosty which did nothing for motivation just to do the warm up! But it was the day we had all been waiting for, so it was time to find some. By the time the race started, the ground became soupy, adding some technical factors into the race course, which makes it my kind of course! Most people had watched the You Tube video of the course, and most were disappointed with what we thought would be handed to us on race day. Much to our surprise, it was nothing like the video and ended up being better than expected. It was still not nearly as fun as the courses we are used to, but I think this goes to show why Alberta did so well out there. Ours are definitely tougher. There was one section in particular that had a ton of twists and turns that went up or down the slope. When looking at it from a distance, you could see that ZM Cycle & Fitness (the race organizers) had incorporated their logo into the course, and it was the shape of the Z and the M. They only used blue tape in this section and yellow on the rest of the course, so it was quite clear that this was what they did! People struggled in this section with all the steep ups and downs with twists and turns, which made it my favorite part of the course. There were also a couple steep hills that people either had to run or ride, depending on the time of day and if it was greasy or tacky. My race was shorter than the normal 40 minutes, and was 35 minutes which meant going even harder than normal. It was a large field of around 17 women at the start line, and not knowing who you were lining up with made it even more exciting, which made it even more important not to miss your call up. I am so glad I didn’t miss mine, as the start was fast, uphill and fairly narrow. My goal for Nationals was a Top 5 finish, and I achieved that goal with 4th place. Keith B and Charles B were in the next group at 10am and they had strong races as well in a large field of 55 racers at the start line! We were then able to enjoy the rest of the day in the sunshine watching the rest of the races, and cheering for Alberta.

Sunday was a regular Ontario race, same venue and course, called Nationals Revenge. The energy was pretty low, as everyone was coming off of a Nationals high from the day before. Alberta still managed to get revenge and saw many back in the top 10 and on the podium. The women had a smaller field of 7 racers, and I got my podium finish of 2nd place, and a really cool Silver medal. I also got my choice of a prize…a bike pump or a light fixture (??????) It was almost like they realized last minute they didn’t have enough prizes and stopped at Home Depot on their way to the race that morning. Results can be found here

Great finish to the cyclocross season! I have no actual race pictures yet, still waiting for the photographer to upload them to his website. However, we all know what it looks like for Speed Theory racers to suffer, so how about what it looks like for us to have fun after a hard season of racing!

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