Saturday, July 11, 2009
This year nationals were held in St Felecien, Quebec, which is about 400km north of Quebec city.
The venue has amazing trails, and a very well designed race course, with 6 over-unders so a spectator can stand in one area and see racers maybe 8x/lap. The course also has a bermed up bike park section and a nice mix of technical singletrack climbing and descending.
I got plate #3, because at the start of nationals I was ranked 3rd overall in the country for UCI points! I had a good start, and was 4th coming through the start loop. I let a few people by and settled in at about 7th. I rode there for lap 1, about 30sec behind the leaders. On lap 2 the leaders opened up the gap a lot more, and I was riding with Jullien Fillion from Quebec. It was great to ride with him, because it really kept me on my game and racing really hard. We would pass each other and try to drop the other lots of times, and on lap 3 he got a bit of a gap on me. However there was a long rooty climb that I was able to catch him on, and then I drafted for a double track section. On lap 4 I attacked him and was feeling really good, and I rode super hard and got a decent gap. By the last lap I was cramping pretty badly and had to dig super deep to stay ahead. For the last descent I was so out of it I was seeing lights, I rode it super sketchily, and hit every rock, root, and tree out there before slowing down and focusing on just finishing the race. I rolled into the line in 6th place, very happy with the way I rode.
Many thanks to everyone for cheering, and to my parents, the Viponds, and XPREZO for support.
Posted by Matt Hadley at 6:27 PM