I do love racing in Quebec though, and crappy weather only makes me like it more. Yet, for some reason on Sunday morning, when I woke to heavy clouds and rain, I wasn’t as out-of-my-skin stoked that I normally would be. Maybe it was the previous weekends of racing wearing me down, or maybe I’m turning into a sissy westerner. I’d come around once the gun went off.
Actually, I needed to come around the German guy who slipped his pedal (not that I haven’t been that guy…) and then a bunch of other guys who didn’t and were doing the standard rabid start while I was spinning grass into my drivetrain and being all around lacksidasical for some reason. It wasn’t until I was standing in the woods, shooting the breeze with Mike Broderick and waiting for guys to file through a single-lane rocky climb, that I realized I’d blown it. 3:00 and change on the clock after one lap of complete and utter woods riding incompetence magnified by the accordion effect of being somewhere in the 60’s. Bummer. I woke up and got my groove on to set about the task of moving through the field on a perfect course in perfect (muddy but not sloppy) conditions. It would at least be entertaining to pass a bunch of dudes.
I eventually caught up with a couple guys in Giant Kits, one being a slightly bloodied Oli and the other our Czech mate Jan Karnitzl. We rode for a few together then I set off on my merry way forward. Little did I know that as I was riding happily through the woods, Oli’s slightly bloody status had increased exponentially. The old boy somehow fell off a turn in a way that put his head in close proximity to a broken branch. This branch deftly used his ear to pluck him off from his bike and place him roughly on the floor. He immediately made the decision to stay down and assess the situation. The initial reaction to touch the burning pain on the side of his head produced a hand covered in blood. This soon turned into a right side of his body coated in crimson. Scary. A four-wheeler ride down the hill by some concerned First Aid folks and a quick stitch job to both his ear and scalp in the triage room and we was pronounced not dead. It could have gone either way for a while there…
I’m not sure if Oli was done getting stitched by the time I was done getting my life together, but it all worked out for us in the end. I finally started to get clear track and faster people to hunt down which upped my pace to what seemed reasonable for a World Cup race. That being pretty fast… With one lap to go I was closing in on the Top 20 and figured that would be a reasonable result considering the start blowup. Somehow I ended up getting by a bunch more guys, who were impressively coming apart at the seams on the fairly awesome, yet quite difficult, track.. Good times feeling the eye of the tiger in the last hour. 12th place flashed on the board at the line, the two guys I had in my sights were lucky we finished there and not after the next woods section…
Our Giant Swiss teammate Martin Franger came across a couple minutes later, stoked on his first World Cup top 20 and making it onto the U23 overall prodium. I like that Martin, he’s a good bike rider.
It wasn’t until after a little Freecaster.tv filming for Fox Racing Shox and a cooldown ride that I remembered every modern World Cup rider’s consolation prize. The “Race Analysis”. Turns out on the last three laps of the six lap contest I was 5th, 4th and 3rd fastest, closing in on the lap times of Julien Absalon and Jose Antonio Hermida. I’ll take this knowledge through the winter with me in my casual attempt to keep Absalon’s Mont St. Anne World Championship titles to one, that one coming in the Junior category in 1998, my first World Champs.
Till then, or this weekend in Bromont for the next World Cup stop, thanks for reading along, I’m stoked that it’s summer! Hope you’re out shredding too.
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|