This weekend, Trek Red Trek riders and staff took on the first of many successful and exciting race weekends as riders made their way out to Langley, BC for the Snake Road Race.
This race is one of the Escape Velocity Spring Series, which are always a great opportunity to test out early season fitness and find the race legs once more after a long winter of training. The day was already off to a good start when the racers woke up to a rare blue sky and sunshine on a Spring Series day.
These conditions, while not unheard of, are rather exclusive when it comes to racing in the Lower Mainland in March. Without a cloud in sight, but with excitement and nerves brimming, riders piled into the fancy new team van and headed to the race, which would feature a 10km lap and an intense hill with a nasty and steep switch back in the first couple kms of each lap, hence the appropriate name: Snake Hill.
This race was exciting for another reason: the drop of our new team kit, so wonderfully designed and produced by local company Sugoi Apparel. Riders felt good and looked even better as they prepared for their first team race of the season, sporting new performance gear from head to toe.
For some, including myself, it was new bike day. You are likely familiar with the feelings that come along with new bike day for a cyclist, but if not - it's basically Christmas! I was so excited for the maiden voyage of my new sleek Trek Bikes Emonda SLR, equipped with disk brakes and a newly placed name decal to top of the look, which I think you could say was full on runway status.
The ride did not disappoint, it took me only a few corners to get used to the amazing responsiveness of the brakes, and I was quickly in love. It is always exciting, and somewhat nerve wracking, to enter a new race season. Not quite knowing where you lie in terms of strength and fitness, no matter how good an off season you've had, it all comes out when the races begin. I now feel ready to tackle this season, largely due to Sugoi and Trek Bikes.
As for the play of the races, TRT was successful once again as Michele Schaeffer out climed all of the women's field, and then was closely beaten in a sprint finish, to come away from this killer race with a super strong second on the podium!
The men battled hard to chase a breakaway that got off the front very early on, and despite being low on numbers, came away with some strong finishes as well! This course was super challenging for me, but I was happy to stay with the pack on the first hectic time up the climb, and then get in to various chase groups and have a strong ride. I also learned a lot, and I am excited to dial in my warm up and a few other components at my next race!
We finished the day by relaxing under the team tents in T-shirts, as the temperature had reached a balmy 14 degrees in the fields of Alder Acres. The weather, the new kit, the new bikes, and the pleasure of lining up next to my awesome Trek Red Truck teammates once again, with thoughts of the season to come running through my head, all made for a season kick off to remember.