A LONG SEASON COMES TO AN END

Thats it my season is over. Time to rest and take a well deserved break. Ive been racing non stop since the End of August. This season has been probably the best Ive ever had as a cyclist. Ive been on the podium in over 90% of the races I competed in which I think is a success. Anyway let me get into the last few races.

Following the BC Provincials I wanted to put in a good block of training to be strong for the last 2 races of the year. The plan was going great until I took a spill while out on a training ride. I slipped on a wooden bridge after several days of rain and ripped my knee and hand on a wire grate. At the time I thought it was just some deep cuts and after a trip to the doctor it was all cleaned up and started healing. During the  crash I managed to stay clipped in as I fell and managed to tweak my right ankle. This turned out to hurt more than the cuts. My ankle had swelled up and it was difficult to walk on or ride. Standing on my feet in work all day did not help either. I still trained on it leading up to the Aldergrove race and just strapped it so I could ride.

Vancouver Super Prestige, Aldergrove

I hoped that the Aldergrove race would not have any run ups as it really hurt to dismount and run. Once I could stay on the bike I would be fine. The course at Aldergrove was fast and had very little technical stuff in it. It had one short steep climb and one long 40 second climb with straight bomb down descents. Because I was leading the Super Prestige Series I got the first call up to the line. My plan was to get to the short steep climb first so that I would not have to dismount. My Team mate Steve Savage was right on the line beside me. We have both been riding really well together in races. He knew I was injured and what my plan was for the race. I just needed to finish in the Top 8 to get points to win the overall. As the gun went off I sprinted to the lead and then controlled the pace not to go too hard. On the first trail there was a fast downhill with twisty bits that you hit at about 30kph. I ripped down this part and then onto the first climb. I looked back at a corner and could see that Steve was right with me and then a small group of about 8-9 riders right on our tail. I hit the steep climb and managed to clear it right to the top. Steve also cleared it but the 3rd rider in the line dabbed and held everybody up. We got away on the next section before the next grassy descent. Steve passed me at the top and committed to the hill. I tried to follow but my brakes failed(not going to get into it but I have had many issues with a certain brand of normally awesome brakes now deciding to fail every time I ride the Bike). I crashed straight through the tape and poles and everybody passed me by. As I remounted I was on the tail end of the 8-9 man group. Steve was gone off into the distance never to be seen again. He has been so strong at the tail end of the year and his confidence is growing more and more.

The first time we hit the long climb I sat in at the back and thought we would all ride together for the rest of the race chasing Steve down. I wasn’t going to do any work to help that thou. But as we passed the Start/Finish for the first time we seemed to just fizzle out and break into smaller groups.

From the back I rode past the guys I was with and moved up to 6th. From there I picked off the rest of the riders til I got to 3rd place. At this stage Steve was totally out of sight and I could see 2nd place in the distance. I tried to chase him hard but he was matching my lap times so I didn’t make much of an indent into the gap. Drew Hemmington was trying to bridge the gap to me so I pushed hard on the last 2 laps. I had absolutely no brakes at all and managed to collide with 2 spectators on one corner who where well off the course and not at fault. I also scared the ‘beer hand up’ guy when I came flat out down the bomb hole and couldn’t stop so careered towards him. Sadly I didn’t grab the hand up and powered onto the finish line. 3rd was a good recovery from a bad first lap. My ankle was hurting so much but I was happy. I also managed to take the overall in the series with a large chunk of points. Steve took 2nd in the Series in his first season of Cyclocross racing. Not bad for a guy who thought it was a stupid sport 6 months ago. Im glad he seen the light and tried it out. Cyclocross is the new Enduro kids.

BC GP of Cyclocross, Surrey

The final race of the season was the BC GP of CX in Surrey. It was the day after the Canadian Cyclocross Championships at the same venue. Sadly I couldn’t contend the Championships. The weather had been disgusting for the Saturday race and left the course on Sunday super muddy and tacky like peanut butter. There was going to be a lot of running in this one which wouldn’t suit me in my condition. I also got called up onto the second row as I signed up late. The first straight was water logged and I knew I had to make it through the bunch. By the second straight I had managed to make it up to 3rd and then by the first sand pit was up to 2nd. I was riding with Mike Dolling of Daryl Evans and on the 2nd lap I managed to get a small gap on him. It was about 10 seconds but was good enough on such a tough course. It didn’t last long thou as I took a spill on a stupid flat part of the course.  I once again had brake failure and once had a front brake. I grabbed too much front brake and down I went. It was enough for Mike to catch up and put the power down. By this stage the running on side hills and in the sand started to take its toll. My ankle was starting to hurt and each time I dismounted it was very sore.

By the last lap I had had enough. I had a big gap on 4th so just settled in and rode home to the line. I picked up another podium and a great way to finish the season off.

So its all over for another year. Thanks to all the sponsors of the team. Steed Cycles, Giant Bicycles Canada, Bean Around The World Coffee, Giro Helmets/Shoes and Roberts Composites.

Thank You to all my Team Mates for cheering me on, giving me advice and racing hard with me. Its been a great trip.

Thanks to all the race organizers for putting on some great races. The photographers at the races for capturing all the action (Scott Robarts, Doug Brons and Andrew Summers).

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