The initial plan was to post once a month… yup, that didn’t happen.
It seemed like without a large event the blog would just go; training, eating, sleeping, training, eating sleeping. Kinda lame…
New plan: Blog after every event. In which case, Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series!
The series started up with a Time Trial on the waterfront of Victoria on Friday night. However, with the Provincial Championships being the weekend coming up (10-12th) the plan was to train through it. This made it into what seemed to be a 6-day stage race.
Tuesday – 17km Time Trial
Wednesday – Had a ridiculously hard road race because nobody wants to be beaten by a 14-year-old.
Thursday – 20km Team Time Trial and Track
Friday – Time Trial (start of Cameron Law)
Saturday – Road Race
Sunday – Crit
It was horrible, But a lot of fun. I might as well start off with Tuesday because that was when racing started. It was a fast night with little wind. I was little off my PB, it was pretty sweet.
The Wednesday was horrible, the “Road Race” is really just a circuit race around a 3 km course. After winning the race the last time it was held. Beating the best teams in Victoria, and in some regards BC, they were not having any of it this time. The main two teams in the race were Russ Hays and the Wheelers. As you can see where this is going, a break went up the road with one Russ Haye and one Wheeler. This means that the entire Russ Hays team and the entire Wheeler team will no longer do work on the front, and with pretty much no one else in the race, it was pretty much over. I kept trying to bridge the gap, which stayed at 25 to 30 seconds, but to no prevail. After one of my hardest digs, however, a Russ Hays attacked and with no Wheeler covering, bridged the gap. That put the Wheelers outnumbered in the break and with me aiding my yelling to the confusion I was able to start getting the Wheelers to work. Sort of. It was mostly them trying to bridge but by me going with them and working it widdled the gap back down to 15 seconds. With 3 laps to go a break went on the climb with 3 laps to go and I wasn’t in it. That was the hardest dig of the race. It took me a good 2 minutes of “red zone” chasing to get back into contention and after another minute sitting on the back, I felt recovered just enough to pull. The group wasn’t working amazingly together but it was enough to chase the break back. We caught them with a lap and a bit to go and it was fairly chill until about 2 km to go. At which point, while I was at the back (stupid of me) another break went. Even better, there was one Wheeler and one Russ Hays in it. Guess who was in my group? Russ Hays, Wheelers and Me. By the time I was chasing the break, it had around 7 or 8 seconds. The finish was on a climb after a steep descent so I wasn’t too worried about closing it 100% once it’s less than 5 seconds it is easy to close on the climb. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get the best of the Russ Hays squad as Cody Canning flew by me like a missile. On the bright side, his draft gave me that little bit more to get ahead of Eugene Hahn at the finish.
Thursday – with two workouts, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, It was a hard day, but pretty lame to comment on. I road my bike in circles around Uvic then I road my bike in circles on the velodrome. pretty much it… moving on.
Friday – The Time Trial In the Cameron Law series was short, fast and close. Mark Grant blew everyone else out of the water, but after him, 2nd to 5th were all within 1.5 seconds. I came out with a 4th which I wasn’t amazingly happy with but I figured I would redeem myself the day later.
Saturday – The Road Race, I heard someone deem it “the hardest race in BC” how accurate that is, no idea. It felt uphill all the way around, though. It was short as far as road races are concerned, 70km was ours which is 7 laps around the 10km course. With just over 40km to go, a solo break when up the road and nobody paid much attention to it until 30km to go and he had over a minute. That’s when people started to work with 20km to go the gap was down to 35 seconds and people were beginning to lose steam. It was a group of 5 or so of us trying to pull him back and there seemed to be an agreement to just drag the bunch up and try to shred them on the last climb of the day. Coming into the bell lap he was visible and had a gap of 25 seconds. That was when I had the weird backhanded compliment ever, a rider next to me informed me that I “climb really well for a short fat kid.” I wasn’t really sure how to respond to that one. As I tried to reorganize a chase no-one wanted to work, and I ended up rolling off the front. So I just kept going.
I caught the break on the climb and we were taking it quite easy up with the agreement that we will hammer over the top. Just as we were cresting I hear someone yelling at me to move over. Erik Diertens had bridged a roughly 10-second gap like a bullet and wasn’t slowing down. The other rider and I hopped on his wheel and immediately started working fairly well together. As we were coming within a kilometer to the descent we had increased the gap to the point we were out of sight. That’s when “solo for 40 km dude” started puking. Erik and I continued on without him and started working better and better together. The descent was a struggle being on junior gears but we slingshotted around each other to try to maintain the highest speed possible. Coming up to the finishing straight a glance over my shoulder showed the pack not far off. I started yelling at Erik that the bunch was closing, hoping he would drive it to the line as well as pick-up the pace. With about 600m before the finish line, he swung off putting me in a difficult position. Luckily he glanced backward and I noticed. I punched it there and drove it as hard as I could barely able to gap Erik.
Sunday – The criterium was in the heart of Victoria around the legislature building. The course isn’t too difficult however with a finishing straight of about 50m it was a sprint into the last corner. The first half of the race I was just sitting in for the legs were not feeling amazing. By the second half, I started planning my attack, the plan was to go with a lap and a half. When a lap and a half came around someone had rolled to the front and was just jamming. This continued for the rest of the race, so attacking wasn’t going to happen. Coming down the straightaway before the last corner onto the finish I was second wheel. About halfway down the straightaway Brendan Cowley came up sprinting beside me and I knew I had to go then or I would be swarmed. I didn’t have any difficulty with the sprint and won it by a few bike lengths.
That was pretty much it. It was a pretty killer week and with a taper week this week I am hoping on flying at provincials.
Huge thanks to Argon 18 for the sweet bike and Straight Up Cycles for their support!
And my Mom and Dad because they are supportive… Most of the time.