Sunday, July 19, 2009

Race Report: 2009 OBC Grand Prix

This year just two Tall Tree riders were signed up for the Grand Prix, Jamie and myself. It was to be the second time racing the event for both of us. Last year I suffered a bizarre flat, and Jamie had a somewhat unpleasant experience in the unpredictable and ever pulsing novice class. Rob and Neil both had good races last year, but were away racing their mountain bikes at Buckwallow this weekend. Hopefully they fared better than Jamie and me.

I came down sick mid week with strep throat. Onto penicillin on Wednesday, I hoped I'd feel fine in time to race. I'd already registered. Due to my desire to race the longer course at Battenkill in April, I wound up getting a Cat2 license for the year rather than Masters. This meant I was to be lumped in with the Cat1 group for the GP. Since I'd managed Fortune fine with the Masters group last year, I figured I'd be ok with the faster guys. My plan was to hang as well as I could, period.

Saturday morning was wetter than I'd hoped. En route with Greg - who'd generously offered to feed me bottles and drive us up - we encountered some pretty heavy rain. I'm fine with bad weather, but wasn't sure how I'd hold up with the illness. Warming up felt fine. However, I didn't get to find out how I'd do with the 1/2s, because I missed the start! What? Pretty lame indeed. My computer has stopped functioning on the drive up, so I didn't know exactly what time it was, and was misled be the people milling around what I though the start area was. It was actually much further up the road. I didn't know the 1/2s were gone until about 30 seconds before the Cat3s were about to go. What to do? Off I went in vain.

The 3s caught me a quarter of the way up Fortune. Duncan offered encouragement as I tried to join the paceline that was steaming up the hill. I made it in, but lacked the ability to keep up the the leading guys; I was not feeling well. A small group got away, and I proceeded to work with a group of about 5 to try to catch them. The rain was pounding so hard at times it was painful on the face. The spray from the wheels was also quite intense. A ways past the top I decided to call it a day and wait for Jamie to pull up to ride with him. Then I waited some more, freewheeling along while streams of riders passed. Jamie didn't show. So I rolled the rest of the lap at touring pace, thoroughly disinclined to work hard; it just felt bad. Greg and I packed up and headed to Old Chelsea for a coffee. Getting sick when I did was not within my control, so I was not disappointed with the day. Missing the start might have been better for me, as I likely would have chased for longer with my own group. That would have been worse for me. I'll likely never find out what its like to race with the 1/2 group at the GP now...oh well. Back to Masters next year.

Jamie also missed his start. He'd forgotten his electronic timing ankle strap at home, and had to retrieve it. He missed by 10 minutes, so he didn't even get on his bike. He was not happy, as he was on good form and looking forward to the test. He'll be a Master next year, so we can try to work together then. That'll be fun.

So the next big thing is D2R2 in August. I hope I manage to rope a few others in, as it should be an incredible ride. After that, it's Hastings followed by lots of 'cross racing, including Ironcross. Plenty more to look forward to.

Speaking of upcoming events, I have received requests for an organized ride between now and the QuinTuple (see below). I have a good route in mind we've done before that takes us through the western limit of the Gatineau Park near Lac le Peche. I'll see what we can do to get one together soon.


Anonymous said...

Tough luck! I missed the start two years ago when they set the PA up afterthe first couple groups had left, judging by the other few sheepish guys discretely removing their #s I was not the only one :) Maybe for the best then, and for you this year! I'll be up for something long this wknd....Chris

the original big ring said...

Sorry to hear about both of your misfortunes - not much you can do about feeling sick.