Canadian Cyclo-Cross Nationals

Big day out at Argyll Park in Edmonton today. Lots of people. Lots of bikes. Lots of thermal underwear and warming cream. A little bit of Michael Jackson on the loud speakers. Some tasty banana chocolate chip muffins and powerful drinks in the clubhouse. Throw in a bit of cyclo-cross racing, and it all makes for a fun way to spend a Saturday in October. Yes, it was cold. But it was cold for everyone. At least it wasn’t raining…

Day started off with Marc’s race at 10 a.m. Many thanks to my dad for ferrying all the gear over to the race site for us today. Marc set off pretty early to warm-up and pre-ride. I got there at around 9:30 and the place was whirling with racers and supporters. Very nice to see. Caught a bit of the Masters Women’s race (good ride – Rachael – you’ll get it back on Sunday). Chatted with a few people and then before I knew it, it was race time! Marc had a great ride today. For a while he was in the lead and then a solid group of four formed off the front. As is typical of racing in such conditions, the crashing and slipperyness were a factor. Marc rode in a group of three with the winner off the front. In the end, Marc finished off fourth. A good ride for him today. Looking forward to cheering him on again on Sunday.

During Marc’s race I hung out with my mom and we zoomed all over the course to catch the race action. The bowl was definitely the best place to watch the race. My mom snapped a bunch of pics and we cheered on Marc. My dad was all over the place as well, taking pictures and cheering. A good Saturday morning.

I zipped off pretty quickly after Marc’s race to get back to the hotel to warm-up and get some food. I chilled out. Typical pre-race activities: reading the newspaper, watching the Food Network, and catching up on the WWW. Marc and I rolled over to the course to pre-ride for my race. It was a massive help to me to have Marc pre-ride with me. He showed me some lines and gave me lots of positive feedback on how I was riding. Chilled out in the Juventus club house and chatted with lots of people. Silly me, I thought the race was at 2… It was at 2:30…. No biggie – just gave me some extra time to relax.

My race went pretty good. I didn’t get the exact result I wanted. But, all in all, I did have a good ride. Made a few mistakes that cost me. But this is bike racing. No race is going to be perfect. I finished 7th. This is good. Really good. I wouldn’t have got this result on this course last year. I felt good. Leg were snappy. My brain was pretty good. But I made some technical mistakes that cost me a few spots. Then a combination of panic and caution set in. Lots of great race lessons learned (ones that I’m planning on applying tomorrow). Check out the race report.

Jetted back to the hotel pretty quickly after the race with my folks. I was a bit too cold to stay and watch the elite race. Heard it was a pretty good race. Congrats to Shaun for his 8th place. Congrats to DSJ for his podium. As well congrats to NSE for her podium today.

Really just flaked out here and then went out for a nice dinner. I must admit, I’m wiped out. Pretty darn tired. Guess it is the cold combine with the racing that sucks the energy. Think I’ll hit the hay pretty quickly. Have another big day of racing on Sunday – Marc is off at 10 and I’m off at 1.

Many thanks for the cheering and encouragement today. It really does help. Big thanks to my parents for driving up from Saskatchewan to come out to the races, drive us around, take photos and basically be super-fans. Couldn’t have made it through today without Marc’s support – thanks so much Marc. Also big shout out to Alex of Soigneur Race Services for his amazing help and pit work today.

Have a great Saturday. Looking forward to a pretty fast and smooth Thanksgiving Sunday. (Maybe even some pumpkin pie…)

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