Hardwood Hills Canada Cup

After initially deciding to skip both the Ontario Canada Cup rounds I started to get withdrawals as they approached. I love the venues, the events themselves, and the thought of just giving away the Canada Cup overall title, after leading at the halfway mark of the series, was not what I wanted. A quick trip and last minute trip was booked for the Hardwood Hills race. Unfortunately it meant missing the Horseshoe Valley round last the prior weekend.

Photo: Adam Morka

I came into the race with a bit of unknown form, though I know the fitness is there, just unknown because these races aren’t “A” races. As the defending winner of Hardwood I was motivated to keep that streak alive. I did the classic Evan-misses-his-pedal in the start and had some ground to make up. It meant quite the effort in the first 3 minutes to get into the lead on that first lap. Luckily I’ve been working my a$$ off and was able to do that. Initially a small group of us got off the front on the first lap that consisted of Andrew L’esperance (Lespy), Derek Zandstra, Evan Mcneely and myself. By lap 2/5 Lespy and I got away and spent the next 2.5 laps together.

We grew our gap on the rest of the field to a sizeable one while Derek was hunting ~15-20 seconds behind us. Lespy was strong and eventually  attacked a short and steep climb with 1.5 laps to go and distanced me. Hats off, as he was strong. I did my best to limit the damages and keep on it but in that hot and humid weather that I haven’t spent much time in, it hit me. I tried to fake it but the fading was happening and Derek caught me with half a lap to go and it just wasn’t in the cards to stick with him. 

I rolled in 3rd on the day. Happy with how I was able to fight out there but, as always, I wanted to win and not be second or third. It’s a more satisfying to be out front at the pointy end of the race going for it, rather than playing it safer and riding in third all day. I would much rather have tried and fell back than played”safe”. I picked up many valuable points for the overall series as I lay in 2nd to Quinton Disera. still After missing one round that is a nice place to be going into the finals this weekend in Whistler. 

Rolling in solo on the last climb of the day.

I was fortunate to have the Disera family take me in for the weekend and they kept me fed before the race! Love this family. Again, fortunate to have so many helpful and supportive people at these events, like the Norco Factory Team and Trek Canada allowing me to stash bags, spare wheels, feed me, and give me shelter from the rains. Being solo has its difficulties in those regards, but everyone is so open to helping that it’s working out very, very well. So many selfless helpers out there!

Very great event for the Trillium Trailer Blazer’s on Saturday, where the elites come out and do skills with the kids for an hour before the race.

Trillium Trail Blazer’s youth race 

Peter Disera the “grill master”

 

Riding in solo for 3rd after fading in the final lap.

All from here down are by Nicola Wenn

Peter Glassford and I always go for a whip off contest..

Photos from here and down are by Faulds Photography

 

 

 

 

 

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