Saturday, August 28, 2010

Windham World cup finals

So Catherine and I made the drive down from her cottage in Gatineau in 2 parts. We stopped along the way and tented one night, it was nice and relaxing, although it did rain in the morning and we ate breakfast under a tree. The next day we drove to Windham and did a few laps of the course, it was super muddy and kind of soupy.

That night we camped again at a very sketchy campground, the worst I have ever been at. We ended up just getting a site in the back woods and showering in the creek, and we had steak over the camp fire, so it was fun. Oh, and it rained all night. Then we moved into a motel and it quit raining - ironic hunh?

Today was race day, I had a decent start and then moved up the whole race. Lap 1 and 2 I didn't feel the best but kept pushing, I had to out sprint riders to get into the singletrack first, so that took a lot of effort and I couldn't ride the top of the descent super well, but by lap 3 I had it figured out and rode the climb really well and then could catch and pass riders on the descent. It was full on NASCAR passing, but super fun. There were 4 sections on the descent I could pass, 3 on small uphills and 1 where I would out sprint someone from singletrack down a grass descent and then nab them into the next corner. Definately did some 2 wheel slides.

There were tons of flat tires. Lots of people were clobbering rocks on the descent and flatting. On Lap 5 Derek came out of the tech zone at the same time as me, and we rode a lap together and did the descent with Mike Broderick, so it was fun because all 3 of us were about the same speed, and we closed a big gap to the rider in front of us and majorly gapped the group behind us. For lap 6 I was able to pass Derek at the top of the climb and get into the singletrack first. I rode it really well and closed the gap to two other riders. I passed one of them on the descent and the 3 of us were in single file with me in the lead coming out of the last corner. I waited a bit and carried more momentum through a ditch and sprinted hard to take 38th place. Definately my best world cup this year, and my best result at a stacked field. For the record I was top Canadian, and 3rd North American!!!

Catherine Vipond ( had a good race for 42, and Catharine Pendrel ( had a great one for 1st, and 1st overall! Good race for team Valleyview house.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bromont Canada Cup

So the Bromont Canada Cup went really well for me. I was feeling good all week and I think racing just the three days at TransRockies did wonders for my legs. I know from racing the 7 day version in the past it was always 3 weeks before I felt good again, but with just 3 days of racing I was ready to go 5 days later.

This year we raced the exact same course at Bromont, however, it felt as far from the same course as imaginable. Where last year there was deep and slow mud everywhere, this year we flew through those sections and pulled off lap times way faster than the World Cup winner. I kind of missed the added technical element of a wet race, but at the same time it is a lot nicer not to have to totally overhaul the my mtb and scrub the mud spots out of all the clothing.

For the race we had an awesome field. There were top racers from Britan, USA, New Zealand, Australia, and of course Canada. I had a great start in the top 10 and moved up to 5th by the top of the climb. We stayed together for the first lap and then up the climb on lap 2 Liam and Derek upped the pace a bit and got away. Watson tried to follow and I wasn’t far behind. On lap 3 I rode by myself and then for lap 4 Cam and Raph caught up to me. Raph put in an attack on the climb and he only got 5sec on me, and by mid way thorough lap 5 I had closed the gap to him by really railing a few sections of singletrack. I was feeling great starting lap 6 and attacked Raph through the start finish and then held the pace up the climb. I had 40 seconds on him by the top and was told Watson wasn’t far ahead. I chased hard but never saw Watson, ... until I came around a corner and saw him lying on the ground where he had crashed at the marshal station. He was in a lot of pain and had brused his quad quite badly. I was sorry to beat him in this way, as he really had a stupid crash on the easiest part of the trail, but I’m not complaining with 3rd.

Big thanks to my parents, Catherine’s parents, and Eric Alain, Terry, Josee, Hugo, Ava, and Luca from Xprezo for all the help on the weekend!

Catherine and I are now at her cottage in Gatineau area, enjoying the bike riding and water sports. Next up is the Windham World Cup on the 28th.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This year I got to race Transrockies for the Canadian National team, as a project to help Canadians get the most points possible so we can qualify more men for the Olympics. For TR I was working for Max to help him get points, and get a few myself along the way.

Kate Scallion picked me up in Kamloops and we drove the rest of the way to Fernie together. The race started in Fernie and the full 7 day version went clear to Canmore. I only raced the 3 day version, called TR3.
nical singletrack called ‘Hyperventilation’ for 35min. I was quite proud of myself for only dabbing once. It summited at the top of a small mountain and then we dove down the fun decent. I rode as fast as I could and didn’t catch anyone or get caught. I had a pretty good ride and finished 4th.

For Day 2
For day 1 we did a 31km time trial loop in Fernie. It rained all night and half way through the morning. By the time I started at 1:30 it had stopped raining and the sun was out. The first 5km was a soupy gravel road with a hub deep puddle, so you got good and wet to start. From there we climbed steep, slick, and tech we started as a big pack, and for whatever reason I didn’t have very good legs. We started pretty hard with two old Czech racers pulling us along up the gradual climb at 35km/hr. Eventually I felt that the pace was too high and that I would really pay for it later, so I dropped off and rode my own pace. The lead group opened up quite a gap over the 30km climb. On the last 5km it was a singletrack climb and I was able to catch and pass the Czech guys. On the steep sketchy descent I caught one other guy, but from there I had to ride the whole 40km of rolling logging road by myself. It kind of sucked, but I kept pushing because I didn’t want to have a terrible result on the GC. I lost quite a bit of time in the GC, and finished 6th on the day.

Day 3 we started in Elkford, I felt pretty good and since I was supposed to be working for Max I thought I’d actually do some work. I set the pace and pulled the whole group on the rolling gravel/mud road for 26km. Along the way I chased down a few attacks and eventually Max went with an attack from Corey so then I sat on while Adam Craig pulled trying to chase them down. Just before the check point, Marty’s rear derailleur was making an awful racket, and it looked to me like the chain was off the top pulley by the cassette, so I told Marty to “Pedal backwards” and ‘crunch pop bang”, there went his derailleur. I felt really bad, however I found out later that the cage was probably broken before hand, so it wasn’t actually my bad advice. But, in the future, I won’t tell anyone to pedal backward! They had to make it a singlespeed to run all the steep up hills and ride the gradual stuff.

From checkpoint 2 I still felt pretty good so I pushed hard on the singletrack. I caught Adam Craig and the New Mexican racer who was only 30sec behind me in the GC. For the next 5km we climbed a super steep, somewhat muddy, and REALLY overgrown mining road. I rode maybe 50% and the rest it was so steep and overgrown that I pushed with my head behind my handlebars to protect it from the alders bushes. 40min of this was more than enough, and then we got above the tree line. Form there we kept on climbing, and climbing, and climbed some more. There was another big hike-a-bike section before we arrived on the top of the continental divide. It was a beautiful view looking all around at the tops of barren mountains with a few glaciers.

On the descent I was able to drop the Kona guys and caught Corey when he had a flat. At this point I was the 2nd rider on the trail, with only Max ahead. However I was pretty tired and on one of the 5 creek crossings I wrapped my chain around the pedal axle, so I had to stop and fix that. Shortly afterwards Corey caught and passed me. I finished 3rd on the day, and was very happy with it. I was far enough ahead of Carl Decker that I moved up to 4th overall in the GC.

This Sunday I am racing the Bromont Canada Cup, so hopefully I am recovered by then.