Monday, October 19, 2009

Almonte 'Cross, Extended Play and More!

We real cool.

Another Monday, another day of recovery from Sunday's 'cross race. Almonte was good, as usual. As mentioned last week, the course is usually long and technical. The first race only did four laps. That's long. For our race two barriers were added, one of which was 2/3 of the way up a traverse climb. I was personally not strong enough to hit it with speed, but I did my best. It was a real mixed bag of results for the Tall Tree team this week, with some lows and highs for certain.

"Nothing says trust like [one man pinning another man's number plate to his butt]"

We had a great showing. I'd been talking up the venue, and the stars were aligned for a near complete Tall Tree crew. Rob Parniak was out with a case of 'I hate 'cross,' Dave Stachon was out with a leg injury, Martin was away on a MTB trek, Brad was AWOL, and Steve is in Europe. Hanging, not racing. Thom and Will showed for their first crack at a normal race, having only done the Madison the last two years. Neil and Anna were in effect, as was Rodd, Jamie, Mike and myself. In addition, our bro, Kent of Phat Moose cycles, was out to throw down his first full race too. We were all racing the second race, for better or worse.

Neil up near the front.

Teamwork! Note to self: don't let Rodd get away!

Jamie worked himself this time out.

Thom getting nice amplitude.

Anna on the power.

Kent. Tenacious.

Thom, looking fresh. Looks can be deceiving.

See more photos at Rodd's flickr site at the top of the links list.

Some great photos by PMcK:

Originally uploaded by PMcK

Originally uploaded by PMcK

Originally uploaded by PMcK
Originally uploaded by PMcK

Originally uploaded by PMcK

Originally uploaded by PMcK

As I said above, there was some better and worse. Rodd pulled off our top finish, coming 12th overall. He was placed in Masters B on the results, but I suspect it should be A. He's old enough for B, but my understanding was that Bs cold race A. Perhaps I am wrong. Anyhow, Rodd had a very good race. As usual, I took a better start, but crashed the first time through the gravel turns. I lost about 5 spots, but was fine. Before too long Rodd came up and I decided to take his wheel. That went really well for a while, then I pulled ahead at the top of the run up. I don't know how, but Rodd passed back and I lost him. He pulled away and I could not close. Later on, a Cyclery rider caught me, then eventually dropped me. I eventually got my breathing together and got on the gas, which saw me catch him quickly. I pulled in front after the run up, and was pulling away, on my last lap, #6, when my rear tire blew out. I must have rolled it on one of the off cambers. That's the second time that has happened to me at Almonte, both times late in the race while I was doing well/ok. Bummer. On the positive side, I did do a few things better than last week, so its still a good outcome. In addition, Kent hooked me up with the makings of a sweet tubular wheel, which I built up after my Monday night spin (tonight). I'll be running tubular in the rear for the first time in Kanata, and expect it to make all the difference in the world. I'm thinking it'll be good for at least two spots improvement. A front would make two more spots, so that'd put me up there in the top ten range overall. Math doesn't lie, right?

Neil suffered a mechanical, and had to bail, having been riding really well despite mild illness. Anna finished two of two, solid. Thom, Will and Kent all worked themselves over pretty good, as most of us did our first time racing cross....still do. Despite the suffering they endured, they will be back for more, and I suspect they will see significant improvements every race for a while. There is so much to learn. They could all use some encouragement, so if you want to give them a holla, this is the place to do it.

Jamie and Mike had solid races. I'm not sure, but Jamie might not have been smiling as much this time. That's a good sign...kinda.

After recovering and sorting ourselves out, we headed out for out extended play on the Roubaix route. Pascal and Rob P came out for the ride, and Ryan, Imad, and Norm joined Thom, Rodd, Mike and myself for the ride. Before long, Thom disappeared, suffering from dead legs. We had GPS issues, unlike last year, and consequently floundered a bit. We did not end up riding the whole route, but what we did ride was great. Good rollers to remind us we'd raced, lots of scenery, and good company. We'll do it again next year; its worth it. We also had camera issues, but if I get photos form Rodd I'll add them.

More: I found a link to this film on HIll Junkie's blog tonight, and had to share it. Its inspiring; it makes me think I should race the Leadville 100, the terrain is just so spectacular. Amazing. I hope the film comes to town, preferably at IMAX!