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.
Posted by Matt Hadley at 7:05 AM