Canada Cups 2&3

This marked the 9th year I raced in Mont Tremblant and 6th year racing Baie-St-Paul since 2008. These two races have been staple locations in the Canada Cup national series since long before my racing started. I was chatting with my fellow BC coach Adam Walker on Saturday morning while the early races were happening and he said it was 20 years ago to the weekend that he raced as a junior in Tremblant.  Turned out it 10 years to the weekend that I first raced Tremblant as a junior and punched a ticket to my first World Championships. 

Going back to the previous weekend in Baie-St-Paul (BSP) we showed up for round two of the Canada Cup series. On my way to the race I stopped in with my sponsor On the Edge Canada (distributor for Pivot Cycles in Canada) to visit with everyone and see a new special bike. On the day I arrived it was also the release for Pivot’s new Trail429 bike and OTE had it in the office. 

Pivot anyone?

For the majority of my trips to BSP there is a special farmhouse that is dear my old  teammates and I. This year it was back to the farmhouse. With such a lean in the house that you can roll a ball from one side to the other, it makes for a cozy feeling. Weather was holding nice and the course was rugged and hard as ever. BSP always hosts a top-notch event and keeps an old school feel to the course. 

Morning bike prep in proper attire. Photo by Fred Webster

On top of the cross-country main event, there was short track race on the Saturday evening. The juniors and elites were combined for this and it gave a good chance for those juniors to prove how fast they really are. Our race was exciting with a “big” climb for a short track, where fireworks went off every lap it was everything I had just to stay in the group. There was a little chaotic scenario and almost crash about 17 minutes into the ~25 minute race. I came to a stop on the hill and works to get back on the next lap and lit my final matches there. Rode solo in for 10th. Not stellar but hoped it would open the legs for Sunday’s race. Holden Jones and Carter Woods of BC went 1-2 and they’re juniors! Stellar riding. 

Front of the race at the start. Photo by Fred Webster

Back of the pack after the start. Photo by Fred Webster

Photo by Fred Webster

Sunday came around I spent the morning in the pits as my girlfriend Brittany raced early before she was on coaching duty in the afternoon. After all the years of racing and people supporting me in the pits, it was nice to help support there. 

She also won

I stopped in to drop to my bottles later in the day during the Junior race before mine and just happened to be there when one of the Alberta juniors had a chain come off and wrap around it self. I was luckily able to untangle it and get him back on the bike. Quite the exciting pre-race warm up for me! Photo by Fred Webster

The pace was furious from a 1/4 lap in when eventual winner Felix Burke threw in some spicy attacks. After following his first few I once again burned my few matches and paid the price. Something felt off but I had a pretty solid sustainable effort to fall back on. I floated around for the next four laps in 2nd place and was caught buy three riders in the final lap and they climbed a lot stronger than I was able to ride. Tough day but hit the podium still in 5th. Felix took over the Canada Cup overall series and I trailed in second. 

Photo by Fred Webster

We spent that evening enjoying some delicious food and watching some of the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club riders race a lawnmower around the yard. Tuesday was a trip through Old Quebec City for lunch and coffee before moving north of Montreal to Mont-Tremblant.

This is a spot that also produces a great event every year. For 2018 they created a weekend festival called CrossRoads. It combines all cycling events amount every discipline. A good step forward for this event. Throughout the week we rode the course and trained in the beautiful area of Mont-Tremblant. 

I spent Thursday pre-riding with the Cycling BC Provincial Team around the course.

This weekend the cross-country was Saturday and the downhill Canada Cup was Sunday. I spent the morning in the pits again with my longtime racing pal – Evan Mcneely. Both of girlfriends were racing at the same time we were able to have coffee and catch up there.

Morning spins are always a highlight when you get to ride with friends. L to R: Andrew Watson, Jenn Jackson, and Peter Glassford. 

Morning pit duty with my long time racing pal Evan Mcneely. 

Later in the day I was again watching the junior race about 5 minutes before I was about to warm up and I saw Logan Sadesky of the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club running through the lap with a snapped chain. I sprinted up to the pits and got ready to fix it with his coach Brittany Webster. It was a snapped link so we had to break that link out and put in a new quick link. Mike Charuk was nearby and helped as well. I’m wasn’t as quick as I hoped fixing this but we got Logan out again. This was probably the highlight of my day being there to help someone else out. I’ve had so many great mechanics and coaches over the years fix some major bike issues for me and it was an honour to be there for someone else. 

It was then to warm up before our late 4 PM start. Once again Felix Burke took off and left us to fight behind. US cyclo-cross star Stephen Hyde was out and rode solidly in the 2nd while a few of traded positions between 3-5 until the final lap. I rested a lot this week, as last week I felt a deep fatigue in the body, but that didn’t seem to help much for this weekend other than a higher heart rate. I didn’t fade quite as hard this week but still not sharp. No excuses again for this weekend. I need to go home and do some homework now. I finished 5th again on the podium but not how I hoped to feel or how I hoped to race. Historically my seasons have always started slowly and gotten better throughout the year, so I’m confident that the page will turn.  Next up: Canadian Enduro Series race in Kamloops this coming weekend. 

 


I was fortunate to have this one around for the trip. Brittany provided some top-notch race support the last two weekends. 

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