Centennial Park ‘Cross

Ah, it is that great time of the evening. The bikes are clean and ready to go. The laundry is done and the skinsuits are drying. The hotel room is relatively tidy. Supper has been eaten. Sandwiches and bottles are ready for Sunday. Time to relax and digest the day.

Marc and I hit the race course pretty early this morning (9:00) as we didn’t pre-ride yesterday (decided to work instead). We got in three laps of the course with Marc helping me out with lines and tips. Definitely worth getting there early to get some nice easy laps in. Registered and headed back to the car to chill out. I really don’t mind arriving early – I can get some laps in, get my numbers, get some of the time-consuming race day stuff done (pin numbers on, try out tires and wheels, etc.). I chilled out in the car – listened to music and had my pre-race meal.

It was great to watch the Ride with Rendall junior race – those boys were awesome today. Riding super strong. Focused and determined. I’m impressed. Thrilled to see how they are progressing – as racers and human beings.

Marc was up at 12. The plan was for me to do the pits for him and then take off to warm-up for my race (I raced right after him). Well, I’m at the car getting organized to head to the pit, when Conor alerts me to Marc’s situation. Broken bike. Yep, right after the barriers. The rear derailleur snapped. Darn. Marc was riding super well and in an excellent position. It was a long run to the pit. A very long run to the pit. Thanks to Conor I made it to the pit with time to spare and thanks to Josie J.M., we did a flawless bike hand-off. As there was nothing I could do with Marc’s bike, I got changed and rode around to warm-up and cheer on the Ottawa gang. Steve rode super well – he was in a bit of negative situation with another ride but made the best of the situation. Attacked and rode to second place. Congrats Steve!

Robbie O. had a solid ride. Drilling it and showing off his mad mountain bike skills. Dave and Marc L. looked solid out there as well. (Thanks Dave for the zip ties.) Oh, by the way – so Marc came into the pit very solidly in last place – so far behind. Well, he ended up finished 19th and he passed 18 guys! Yikes that is a serious ride. Congrats Marc – I know Sunday will be better.

My race went fairly well. I had a good race. Still not a great race but a good race. The best part about my race today was my start. It rocked. I finally got it together and had a good solid start. I’ve posted a race report.

A fun day at the races. A very cool course with lots of twists and turns, challenging slippery climbs, fast barriers. Well organized. As close to on schedule as a bike race can be. Lots of people out on the course cheering and taking pictures. Massive shout out to Gregory and Liz for making the trek out to Etobicoke for the races – we soo appreciate your cheering and support.

Tomorrow we’re racing at Centennial Park again – but this time on the other side of the park with the infamous hill. Should be good. Looking forward to it. If you’re in Toronto and have nothing to do – come out and watch the racing. You’ll be hooked.

Good luck to everyone racing in Almonte tomorrow. Rip it up and have some fun.

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