Gastown Grand Prix is arguably the marquee event of BC Superweek. All the other races are awesome – but Gastown has the biggest crowds, the biggest field, and the biggest prize purse. For us at Trek-Red Truck Racing, it also has the biggest sponsor turn out, giving us a great opportunity to show off our racing skills in front of those that support us. We even get limited edition Louis Garneau Allstream skin suits for the occasion. While I’m not one to squeeze myself into a skinsuit for any reason other than a TT, after the evening’s results, I might be more willing to in the future.
If you missed the race, it was a pretty spectacular one for Trek-Red Truck if I do say so myself. A rider attacked for a prime 10 laps in, I decided to follow and go for the $200 prime, and then found myself with a gap. Honestly, I didn’t want to be off the front at that point, but I had a gap and I wasn’t going to give it up for free. As the laps went on, the gap kept growing. I’d chalk this up to the awesome crowds giving me some extra oomph, and my teammates being pros of shutting down any potential moves back in the field.
With 10 laps to go I had the pack in sight, and was pretty sure I was actually going to pull it off - barring any sort of mechanical. With three laps to go a prime of $400 was put up for me to lap the field. Side note of how awesome our sponsors are: When I went to collect prize money that evening I saw that half that prime came from one of our team sponsors Tony Martin; thanks Tony! I hadn’t been convinced that I wanted to lap the field (even if I could) because it’s cool to be able to celebrate a win on your own. With the money on offer, I had to try and found that I had enough gas to close the gap. The team had tons of air time over the evening and walked away with a pretty nice prize purse thanks to Global Relay and Allstream.
Here’s my top 3 moments from the night:
Being able to celebrate the win at the new Red Truck Brewery with my teammates and so many of our sponsors. It was pretty cool to see how excited everyone was about the evening – and to be able to give the Gastown winner’s jersey to Mark James for all of his support.
The Gastown fans. Bike racing isn’t a mainstream sport, but if you happened upon Water St. that Wednesday night you might have thought it was. The fans were loud and drowned out the sound of my own breathing. I don’t know that I would have won if it weren’t for the atmosphere.
The number of young girls that came up to me after the race to have their photo taken with me. Even if they never bike race, I hope they were inspired to get out for a rip around the block on their bikes. The number of other random people (who had probably never seen a bike race before) that took their picture with me was also pretty entertaining.
Thanks for a great evening Gastown!