Thanksgiving Weekend was a great for me here in Vancouver. On the Sunday morning I got up early to make my way out to Port Coquitlam to tackle my 3rd Cyclocross Race. The amazing thing about Vancouver is its Public Transport system as I managed to get a bus earlier on a Sunday morning right to where I needed to go and bring my bike on the bus with no hassle at all. That is one thing that you could never dream of back home. This city just works and works right.
Anyway arriving on site I noticed that the Lions Park was small but offered a variety of technical sections that would suit my Mtb skills. The loose gravel at the back of the course, the off camber section, the tight steep switchback section and very little in the way of long flat drags. After a quick warm up lap I knew where the danger area’s where and hatched a gameplan to try take my first podium at a SuperPrestige Series. This event was the first I had attended that had a wide startline with about 10 riders taking to the front row. I opted to start on the front on the right side as I knew if I had the pace I could get to the first off camber section on the high side and stay clear of any trouble.
Boom the start whistle goes off. I push hard off the start and try stay close to the front on the first long flat drag. The rider who had won the first race I did in New Brighton shot out the front. I jumped onto his wheel and he led into the first off camber. I stayed well clear of any trouble and as we exited the section he slowed down with a dropped chain. I powered by and up the first little jump through the trees. I knew I needed to be into the tight section first so I was not caught behind in the pack. I cleaned the whole section and sprinted out the other side. When I looked back there were two riders with me. The next tricky section was a gravel pit that went around the kids playground in the middle of the park.I choose to run this on each lap as the was a small wall at the end that you had to climb over. I felt this was faster overall. But one rider got by me here and I chased him down. Next obstacle was the hurdles which is one of my stronger skills. I caught him just before the hurdle and passed him at the remount.
Myself and one rider then broke away and I proceeded to lead out for about 6 laps until I made a break with 4 laps to go as we were getting caught by third place. I rode away as I felt very strong and knew I could make up time the whole way around the lap. By the final lap I had stretched the lead out to over 30 seconds and finished to take my first ever Cyclocross win in Vancouver. This win gives me great confidence going into the BC Provincal Championships and the Canadian National Championship.
All Photos with thanks to Doug Brons Photography.