Today was Canada Cup #2 in Mount Tremblant...my first for the year. I missed Tremblant last year, but opted to make the trip east this year....I had forgotten just how punishing this course really is. A lot of climbing and very rough decending.
First on called up..hehe, based on UCI points. Off the start I had my usual good kick and hammered, gapping the rest of the field by about 10 seconds before the first singletrack. Fudge (aka Mickaela Kofman) caught me near the top of the last steep climb, but I was first into the singletrack and was able to put some time into her on the fast, rough decent. I consider myself a pretty competitent tecnical rider and these sections are generally my strength (however when I ride with Regan I feel like a total gorby as he cooks me on his fully rigid steel bike...I love it!!!!).
Each lap I put a little more time into the rest of the field and was feeling pretty elated as I neared the top of the very last steep climb..knowing that if I was ahead at this point I was pretty sure that I'd be able to hold my lead to the finish. A quick glance over my shoulder as I near the crest of this hill, and I breathe a small sigh of relief...I don't see anyone. THEN...all of a sudden Catherine Vipond flys by in her new kit...OH MY!!!!! She's in disquise, I totally didn't see her. I quickly grab a couple of gears, stand and hammer. I put a gap on her into the singletrack and am able to put some good time back into my lead through the long decent.
Up ahead I can see the trail opening up to the paved bike path that we take back into the village. 10m from the paved path...pssssst...psssst.....psssst....psssst....with a little Stans blowing up into my face.....WHAT!!!!! I'm total shock that I just flatted with less then 5 mins left in the race. Running through my brain...should I grab a wheel from the pit just around the corner...or should I ride to the finish???? My wheel is completely flat, I don't know how much time I have on Catherine....so as I round the last corner to the pit......"Rick!!!! I need a front!!!!!" Waving my hand....then all of a sudden my front wheel washes out.....the tire stretches so far over the rim rubs along the pavement....and there is no way I can control the bike.....slammmmmmm!!!!
I find myself off in the ditch on the side of the path...15 sec inventory...nothings broken....I think I'm okay.....I stagger up....fall down...crawl around a little........look around for the arm of my glasses (don't ask me why I was so concerned about this at the time)..finally make it all the way up....the commisaire is telling me that I can't continue.....What!!!! I'm okay!!!!...stagger a little......look over see Rick changing my front wheel......Commisaire still telling me that i shouldn't go on......I see Catherine Vipond whip by...."Oh no!!!!"....Rick finishes up my wheel and I grab my bike and jump back on just as Aleksandra Mooradian from Poland passes me.....swerve a little then grab a couple of gears and hammer...
I quickly grab Aleksandra's wheel and sit up for a second in the draft just to regroup myself....then decide that I fell okay, I can see Catherine, I'm going to try to catch her. Just as we enter the village I pass Aleksandra and head down I push as hard as I can. Weaving through the village I manage a small gap on her, as we near the top Peter Glassford and Matt Hadley move inbetween us, which is good because it puts a little time between us, but I get squeezed out in the final switchback corner as they try to pass me. I'm leading through the final sweeping left hand corner...hugging the inside of the turn....then all of a sudden she decides she's going to attack me......on the left side....there's NOOOOOO room......
I see her handlebars squeezing up beside me on my left side, out of the corner of my eye I see her handlebar inbetween my knee and arm...and like it's slow motion I watch as she pushes forward she catches my arm and hauls me down...Ugggggh...as I watch my bike grinding along the pavement on the handlebar and rear skewer. I can't be mad, rubbin's racing...when you're pushing as hard as you can, expecially near the end of the race, you don't always make the best decisions, I know I'm made a couple pretty bonehead moves myself :) Big saving grace was that I landed on her and her bike....nothing hurt and I was up faster....hammering the last 25 m to finish 2nd.
Right now, I'm pretty sore....that first crash really hit me hard....I think tomorrow is going to be tough...sitting in a small car as we travel from Mount Tremblant to Barrie....for the next Canada Cup.
And the unveiling of the new team Trek Canada trailer....coool!!!