Yesterday was the 2009 Hardwood Hills Canada Cup just outside of Barrie, Ontario hosted by team sponsor Trek Toronto Store. This is the I think the 5th time I've travelled out east to compete at this race, and I always enjoy it. It's not the type of cross country course that you think of as a mountain bike course, no big long climbs no big long descents, but the whole course is fast, flowy and fun. This was my first Canada Cup of the season, I passed on the first two in Baie St Paul and Mt Tremblant, Quebec this year in favor of my sadistic intervals..hehe....and only my 4th race of the year.
Off the start a Quebec rider took off into the head wind, and the rest of us more then gladly tucked in behind her for the first km. At the bottom of the first climb the pack bunched up and started to move around the lead rider, and Emily Batty took the lead into the singletrack. For the first half a lap I tucked myself in behind Emily and Jean Ann McKirdy behind me. I do have to say, Emily doesn't really give off much of a draft for someone twice her size :)
We followed close behind for the majority of the first lap, but Emily was able to put a small gap on Jean Ann and myself up the steep climb near the end of the lap and I was never able to close the gap. From there Jean Ann stayed on my wheel as I tried to reel Emily back in for another half a lap.
I was actually feeling pretty good, which surprised me...I really wasn't sure what to expect coming out of the big interval sets that I had completed two weeks before, but although there is still a little fatigue still in my legs, I can feel the huge boost in my fitness that I've gained. Up the longish climb following the Bone Shaker, Jean Ann moved to pass me and I was unable to match her pace at that point. I managed to keep a gap of about 30 -40 seconds for the next two laps, loosing a little more time in the last half a lap, but still holding onto third place. Emily kicked butt for the third weekend in a row, Jean Ann finished 2nd, me 3rd, Amanda Sin 4th and Sandra Walter finished 5th.....awesome race.
Thanks for the awesome race Barry!!! And thanks for the awesome ride today Steve and Peter ...I got sooooo lost when you left me (great way to add up a couple more miles :)