Jim Horner Classic

Well, my plans for the sun to break through the cloud cover and for the snow to disappear did not come to fruition. But it was a bit warmer today. Or at least that’s what we were all telling ourselves… Sunday morning seemed to come pretty quickly today. Luckily we had packed our race bags and got ourselves pretty well organized for another early start.

Marc raced at 10 this morning and I was off at 1. My dad played chauffeur again and drove Marc and all his gear to the race this morning and then came back to take me and my mom over for Marc’s race. I decided to simply stay at the race today, since the course pre-ride was at noon and I raced right afterwards, I didn’t feel like coming back to the hotel and then going back to the course. Worked out fairly well. I hung out in the Juventus clubhouse, munching my couscous and flipping through old cycling magazines.

I hopped out on the course at noon for some warm-up and race course evaluation. Marc crashed pretty hard (a few times) today so as a result his shoulder was rather sore. But luckily Peter Mogg offered to pre-ride with me and show me some fast lines. (Peter won on both days here in Edmonton. Congrats Peter!) So Peter and I did a couple laps together – it was super helpful to see some different lines and to hear Peter’s thoughts on the race course. Then it was race time. I must admit I sometimes find it hard to get excited for second days. Today was no exception. But by the time I lined up I was all fired up. I had a good race today. The result is the same as yesterday. But the difference is I rode better today. Made smarter decisions, took more risk (or should that be better risk?), and raced more aggressively. I’ve written a full race report here. But essentially I was in sixth until the sand on the last lap. It was fun racing so closely and aggressively with Sarah and Jean Ann – I think it made it exciting for the three of us.

After my race, I zipped back to the hotel with my parents and then we hit up the Southgate Shopping Centre for a little browsing and shopping. It had been a long time since I’d been in a mall. And now I know why. That place made me feel so tired. Don’t know if it is the air in malls or what – but I just feel my zest for life disappearing when I’m in such a place. Ah well, it was nice to walk around in warm conditions for a change. And I did get a tasty chai latte at the coffee shop and I got to look at books. So really it wasn’t all bad. Marc and I did the bike packing game for a while this afternoon and have managed to cram everything into our four bike boxes. Now we’re trying to figure out how to get to the airport. We can’t all fit in my dad’s vehicle… My suggestion of Marc sleeping at the airport with the bike boxes didn’t go over very well…

Today was a really great day. I got to start it off by watching Marc race. He had a good ride today but a few unfortunate crashes set him back a bit. My mom was super impressed with how Norm Thibault rebounded from his mishap at the start to finish in second place.

I’ve said it before but it needs to be said again: one of the best aspects of cyclo-cross racing for me is the people. The cyclo-cross community in Canada is not that big so after a while you get to know one another. And even if we only see each other a couple times a year at various races, it is so refreshing to just be able to chat and talk and relax around one another. It is a great feeling when we can line up and race against each other and then chill out and talk and be friendly – not a lot of sports afford this type of community. Many thanks to all the people who came out to cheer during today’s races. Congrats to Rachel for taking the win today! Congrats to Natasha for her race. Shout out to Keirnan for another fine ride and podium. Props to Derrick for putting up with a bunch of childishness and coming out on top it all. Shout out to Robbie O for a fine ride this morning. All in all, I think the Ottawa crowd showed some fine riding and gamesmanship this weekend.

Many thanks to my parents for coming out for the weekend. They basically drove us around. Catered to our every need. Put up with the inherent race stress. And were the super-fans of the weekend. Meant a lot to have them here this weekend. Thanks!

Alright, it is getting late so I’m going to sign off. Another weekend of cyclo-cross racing has come to a close. Looking forward to getting home tomorrow. We are off to Toronto next weekend for the NACT race. Should be a good weekend. Extra bonus is my little bro and my sister-in-law are coming out to watch.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for cheering. Thanks for the emails, messages and speedy vibes. It all makes a massive difference.

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