Before we even got to the start line of the junior men’s road race there were a couple things I knew were for sure going to happen. A lot of guys would try to go for a breakaway, the race was going to be a bit sketchy, and I had to race smart since I was solo. The one aspect that I didn’t account for was the lack of sleep the night before which took a bit of a toll during the race.
On the start with the commissaire counting us down for the beginning of the national road race. Immediately off the start line there was lots of jostling because everyone was eager to get to the front and show what they have to offer. The downside to that was in the first couple of kilometers a big crash happened, I was behind it but managed to maneuver my way around it. After that there were crashes scattered throughout the race, a lot of the time separating riders from the back of the pack. The field kept getting smaller every time because of this.
Crashes aside, for most of the race many of the riders tried to establish a break, and I hopped on if I had to or sat near the front if another team was chasing. Eventually near the end of the race there was a three man break that got off the front. I thought that it would get pulled back like the others, especially since it was so close to the end of the race. That wasn’t the case, no one was willing to help me and a few other riders chase. With one lap to go I tried to bridge with a Cycling BC athlete but we were chased down after a couple kilometers. Coming into the last two kilometers the break was still dangling off the front of the field. The last corner and we just meters from the breakaway but as we entered the corner two riders in front of me touch wheels and swung to the curb, forcing myself and the riders beside me against the curb. A few riders even had to jump the curb onto the grass. The finish was fast and furious but my legs weren’t up to snuff to contend the podium positions sadly. Overall the road race was fun and I learned a little more as I do every race.