Well, just coming off the Pro Am in the Tour of the Battenkill where I finished 48th, I was feeling pretty confident going into this race. As some of you may have heard me say before, I look forward to the Almonte Roubaix more than any other race. Matt and I talked a little strategy during a very short warm up, we were aiming for the win.
Going into the first forest section Matt was leading followed by Osmond Bakker and myself--We came out in that order and shed a lot of riders.I'd estimate the pack was down to about 30 at this point. The attacks started going- Oz went first, when we caught him Greg Reain countered and was gone far off the front shortly after. No one seemed to care that Greg was slowly turning into a speck of dust in the distance. I then got word from Rodd that Matt had flatted-S%*t! Finally we organized a small chase group rotating at the front- Imad El-Gazel, John Fee, Oz and myself-We drove the pace for a bit but then everything started going wrong....The course was marked incorrectly and approx. 20 of us(the lead chase pack) went right for about 3 kms to discover a dead end and where I also discovered I had a flat tire.
Everybody sprinted out of there while I put a tube in my tubeless tire.--Jumped back on the bike prepared to time trial for 50km, but wait, here comes Greg Reain out of the bushes covered in mud. apparently he took the wrong turn too.
He and I worked together right to the last Forest where I had a catastrophic tear on my rear wheel which went off like a gunshot.--Fixed it with a Cliff shot wrapper, then slowly and carefully rode the last 3 km to the finish line--Very anti climatic, Way she goes sometimes I guess.
But wait, there's more!
Matt Surch, after fixing his flat tire, didn't take the wrong turn---he was actually leading the race for a while until Oz and Aaron Fillion caught and passed him.I won't give away too much but Matt got third!!
Podium for Tall Tree at the Almonte Roubaix,(the most prestigious race in all of Ottawa). I'll be marking this one down as a great success for us all!'
Road season over, 364 days to go to the next Almonte Roubaix. Next stop Baie St.Paul XC Canada cup.