Stage 1 – MT Peak Time Trail
The opening stage of Enumclaw involved an individual 10 km time trial. It was effectively an out-and-back with a minor descend on the way out, and a slight uphill coming home. I speak for the entire men’s team when I say, despite being just a 13-14-minute effort, it hurt!
Commonwealth games bronze medalist, Jay Lamoureux, finished in TRT’s top spot in 8th place overall, down just 27 second on GC.
Stage 2 – Downtown Criterium
The men’s team watched the women’s crit get washed out with a significant downpour. Watching from shelter, the entire team assumed the race would be either cancelled, postponed, or shortened. The course was inundated with water and had flooding in a number of corner sections. Sure enough, the race went on as planned.
Despite being technical and wet, the race was fast. Strung out from the gun, I was immediately reminded what it was like to race bikes among youthful talent. After five laps, I recall thinking I was mid-pack, but looked back to confirm around 50% of the field was gone – I was close to the back of the race. Corner volatility, coupled with increasing fatigue, left me ~ 25 wheels back from the front of the race. I felt like a clown (specifically, an ‘aging ass-clown’) and could only really watch Al Murison, Kyle Buckosky, and Brendan Armstrong represent the TRT logo at the front of the rate. The boys raced superb! I was very impressed. Al entered the final corner four wheels back and was centimeters away from taking the win. A photo was required to confirm he was second. A disappointing second, but a fantastic solo effort by our sprinter.
Stage 3 – Mud Mountain Road Race
The men’s road race involved six laps of a circuit course. The men’s team understood that a 10-minute hill effort would determine the race’s outcome. I viewed the course as 6 x 10-minute efforts, with some punches in between. We had five guys all within a minute of GC. Our plan was to try to get someone in a move up the road, with the hope that it would stick.
As the race played out, the hill was confirmed to be the determining factor. Round one was relentless, resulting in ~50% of the race being shelled. As we crested the top on the climb, I thought to myself, ‘I’m getting too old for this sh%t!’. With the pace remaining high even on the flatter sections, all of our team’s efforts to split the race were nullified by a group working for the current GC leader.
Despite this, on our third hard 10-minute hill effort, somehow Kyle got away. It was a monster effort! What was perhaps more impressive was the fact that he continued to put time into the field. With 1.5 laps to go, Kyle put two minutes into what remained of the field. It was a significant ride! The pace had not slowed up, remaining +40 km on the flats and exceeding 70 km on the descends. Still, Kyle maintained his advantage. However, as we crested the climb the final time, Kyle’s red kit was spotted in the distance. He had around 40 seconds, and with the (now) shattered peloton eager to catch him, I knew it was going to be hard to hold his advantage. The group’s momentum caught him on the descend into the finish. It was a heart breaker.
Although the men’s team did not have a rider on the GC podium, the boys’ effort deserves recognition. I was truly impressed with every one of them. Each played a role and shaped the race in some way. No other team was as active throughout the road race and made the successful effort to break-up the existing GC. As the men’s mentor, I was proud. I’m looking forward to provincials next weekend and our attempt to defend the jersey.