White Rock Crit
I packed an overnight bag as my mother was coming over from Victoria to watch the races that weekend and had booked a room at a B and B right downtown White Rock. The Van picked me up at JJ Bean on its way to the criterium Friday afternoon. We sung along to all our favourite pop songs with the sweet tunes cranked to 11. The drive to the race was safe except for the moment that Geordie had to slam on the brakes as a road work marshall directed a car across our path. I’m really not sure what the marshall was thinking… or wasn’t.
Once at the race it’s always fun finding the right street to drive down to get to team alley. Of course we got this horribly wrong, pleading with the officials to move barriers as we were stuck on a street dead ending onto the crit course. With the Cat 3 race starting, only the ninja-esques back up skills of Geordie saved us. We show parked the van and set up with time to spare.
“No one warms up at the end of Superweek” said Evan as he saw me on the trainer. Though I was tired, I needed every advantage I could find. I’d been having a rough go since returning to racing after fracturing my clavicle in May. I was getting frustrated, seeming to finish every second race of Superweek so far. “At least you’re consistent” my teammates reminded me earlier, though not the kind of consistency I was looking for. If my streak held, I was slated to DNF the Crit and it was playing a little in my head.
The course was hilly with a steep 400 meter drag up the south side coming every lap. We lined up, watching my teammate Leah Guloein being presented the final premier series jersey. “Seventy five minutes” I thought, man why couldn’t it be five. The pack was definitely overly enthusiastic in the first half of the race, dropping nearly half the field. Geordie Morrison was taken out around the midway point as well. Though he escaped injury, his bike wasn’t so lucky... (did I mention that Geordie's a ninja?) Mike and I finished well after a hard race, breaking my seeming curse in the process. The girls rode much more aggressively than the men with sara Bergen getting in the break that wasn’t to be, then finishing fifth.
Sushi then bed for the team. An Early wake up call was expected tomorrow morning.
White Rock Road Race
A long and crazy steep down hill greeted the riders as team vans cascaded down the White Rock slopes towards the water. After a brief team strategy meeting and gawking at some of the hills, we rolled to the start. Today the course consisted of a large loop comprising most of the 134km race, then a small finishing circuit. The heat was hardly bearable and if it had not been for a kind soul with a garden hose, on the first pitch, I would have surely caught fire. The second climb featured a lesser human being, blaring pop music and sipping some sort of cold beverage from his balcony as racers struggled by. Michael Van Denham and Joel Taylor looked very comfortable on the hills and the team rallied around them. With Geordie already on moral support, I guessed it was my job to bring back any break that went without Mike or Joel. After two successful chases I went to the back and proceded to die. The best result on the day was from Joel (whom is still a junior) putting up a very impressive finish in 25th.
Best of all, the men had a great view of the ladies race. After Sarah Bergen and Shelly Olds broke away, we really had something to get excited about; each time the gap to the main pack growing ever so slightly. Shelly and Sarah duked it out for top spot with Olds picking up the win.
Tour de White Rock was a fantastic event and I can honestly say that I would love to be back next year. A big shout out to our terrific sponsors that make all this fun possible and who make bicycles light ;)