The Robert Cameron Cycling Series, also known as the Victoria Bike Festival, is the only time that most of us get the pleasure of racing on the island all season. Although the format of the race has changed a little in recent years, this season saw it go back to the Dallas Road TT on Friday evening, the incredibly hilly Metchosin Road Race on Sunday, and a criterium around the BC Legislature on Sunday which, given its location, was also rather fittingly the BC Provincial Championships.
In the Friday evening TT, Trek Red Truck pretty clearly demonstrated that they were the team to beat. Kyle Buckosky dominated the TT with an impressive six second gap over second place. In another solid ride, Dylan landed himself on the final podium spot while Craig, myself, and Ty all slotted into the top-10. Most of our women’s team was either on their way home from Quebec, but Anna Talman did well to represent the team and netted a top-10 despite using absolutely no aero gear.
After Kyle’s performance on Friday, the men’s team was in the driver’s seat for Saturday’s road race, but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy to hold onto the leader’s jersey. After the last couple weekends, we knew that letting the race finish in a sprint was not the best strategy for the team. Rather, we took a very different approach.
With the race heading uphill almost immediately, Craig and I put our cyclocross skills to use and started the race as if the finish line were only one lap away. It hurt. A lot. But it also worked. Only two laps into the race and we had shaken almost all of the sprinters from the field. When the dust had settled, Kyle nabbed second place and held onto the jersey in what was truly a team effort.
Notable mention goes to Craig for spending probably 110 of 120 kilometres in a two separate breakaways. On the women’s side, Gabby, Leah, and Anna represented the squad and raced well to nab our youngest member, Gabby, a spot in the the top-5.
One day later and we found ourselves at the final event of the race, the BC Provincial Championships Criterium. After some long travel days, our full women’s squad was back in action and ready to take on another provincial title. And another provincial title they did. With a truly dominant display, Sara Bergen attacked midway through the race, while her teammates covered attacks behind. It was simply too much for the competition and Sara lapped the field to take a huge victory and become the 2016 BC Provincial Criterium Champion!
The men’s team had their work cut out for them. While Kyle was had onto the Omnium leader’s jersey, we knew that we were going to need to work together as a team if we wanted any chance to hold onto it and maybe even take the Provincial Championship win. As with the road race, our plan was to attack from the gun. Lap after lap we sent riders up the road, collecting multiple lap primes as they went, but the pack refused to let anyone go. With half a dozen laps left and realization that nothing was going to stick, we switched to plan “B”: the leadout.
In the end, we didn’t quite manage to pull the criterium win off, but we still snagged the overall title and no one can argue that we gave it everything we had out there. At the end of the day, regardless of whether we win or lose, I can't help but love how all my Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes teammates are willing obliterate themselves to help the team win. Thanks TRT Racing, these guys and girls I get to race with every weekend are the best and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the teams support.