Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cdn Road Nationals - Challenging wicked race!

I'm a climber that likes to get out of the saddle and climb forever... the Canadian Nationals road race course in Edmonton was a short hill sprinter's climbing course. I gotta say... it was a tough race and strong women made it a challenging effort. I'm glad to have finished with the peloton!
Marg & Danika in dark ERTC jerseys - photo Darcy Reynard
I was impressed with the fast start from the get-go. For the 27 short climbs we had in this race, the racers eased the pace on maybe 2 of them. Attacks happened here and there, on this flatter course, no-one broke away threatenly. The peloton did let a couple women just ride off the front a few times.
Saw Anne Samplonius and Julie Beveridge chatting it up (both National team members though wearing different team jerseys for this race). Next thing, Julie just rides off the front with 2 laps to go and Anne at the front slows up the pace. No-one reacts! Don't let a strong TT rider get away, Julie has potential to finish solo! The peloton eventually bridged up to her.

At times, it took more energy than necessary to ride in the peloton to be "wary" for anything sketchy. Was it due to young inexperienced racers? Corners were cut and riders were forced into the curb. Braking occurred. Lines weren't held, especially down twisty Groat Road... More of a safety thing to not crash the peloton. Riders I knew were awesome with their bike handling.

Marg climbing out of the saddle... why is the hill so short?!
Definitely a sprinter's course as the pace up steep though short Emily Murphy was fast. One time I was working thru a leg cramp and off the back and found that the pack just sucked me up in the flow. So much for being at the front for all the other laps I did!

The last 2-km from the whole length of Groat Road from 107 Ave was full out fast. On the corners, it was like watching roller derby! I played cautious, yet still saw a couple women racers squeezed into the corners almost causing a crash.

500 metres to go a few more women were shoved into a corner and another close call to a crash... I squeaked by on the far left which was clear. The top sprinter's had their pole positions to the 1% descent into the finishline 200m later. Happy to finish safely with the peloton!

All in all, it was cool to get to race at home! The spectators were awesome!

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