So today was Day 1, kicking off the 2014 season with my new team RealDeal/Gears p/b WASPcam in Calabogie for a 76km circuit road race. If some others riders already started their season, it was my first one this season, and our first as a team.
I kept visualizing all the possible race scenarios during the 3 or 4 hours of drive to get to the race, reminding myself some racing images from last season, going through all the steps of my race preparation to be ready, calm and focus when I would arrive at destination. Very excited to get back into ‘’racing mode’’ after such a long time! But there is one little detail that I forgot about the following events of my day.
When I saw my teammates from last year (Jamie Gilgen @jamiebikies and Sarah Rasmussen @LilSarahRaz) in the parking lot. WOAHH I missed them so much! So happy to finally see them and having the opportunity to race together again! I missed the feeling of being part of a team. This feeling is definitely something I found lacking in cycling, especially when I started cycling after many years in high level hockey. Traveling, racing expenses, working schedule, etc. many reasons make it hard to coordinate a team calendar. But today, we were racing together, and we would race hard and sacrifice ourself for each other.
Then, Oh! another surprise I forgot (4h of thoughts about this event and I can still forget something else!!) CLOTHING !!! Cycling Rules : Go fast, Look good ;) Thanks to @ChampSysCanada for our amazing kit!
The race finally started, with a new teammate on my side, Rhonda Guzda Stickle (@GotWeims), for a total of 4 RealDeal members. A few attacks here and there from different teams as I was trying find my way back in the pack and getting comfortable again. Until Sarah asks me to go, and my attack turned into an early break. A break? What? Already?! I’m more of a sprinter than a TT person…so please lets not make this last forever or I might get dropped.. 10k or so later we got caught as Jamie took off. And this time was the good one and we knew it. That was one of our best scenarios.
Thanks to her it made our job easier. A while later Jamie and 2 others girl in the breakaway got over 2-3min of gap and we, in the pack, had to start thinking about how we were going to play the rest of the race knowing we wouldn’t catch them. We still had 3 players. Rhonda threw some serious attacks, with Sarah being always perfectly positioned to cover everything and pushing up the pace some other time. I knew my job would happen at 200m from the line so stay calm, be happy, and be patient. :)
At this time, we could only cross our fingers for Jamie to win the race. 1k to go Rhonda gets me near the front with Sarah ahead. Looking good! Last corner I’m there, second position, and I’m not going to do anything else than winning that bunch sprint. I started exactly at the signboard I noticed earlier on the course, bang bang bang (that’s the sound of 3 pedal strokes ;)) That’s all I needed to put my bike in front and then take the bunch sprint. Jamie got first, like a champ! Job done! Happy dancee
It’s a great way to start the season, I feel very fortunate to race with such a strong team, strong riders. Notable result also from Barbie Hope (@DameDeLaTerre) with a strong 3rd position in the S3 Women race.