Charlie Medals at Master A National Road Race Championship

2012 Nationals Master A 040

Recently, I lined up for the Master A National Championship Road Race, which took place in Lac Megantic, Quebec. On the start line with me, were teammates Greg Boileau, Gerald Chen, and Jason Valenti. 80 Riders rolled out of town to take on the 121km course, involving several steep climbs and some strong wind. The course involved riding out of town to a 14km circuit, which the riders tackled three times, and then the hilly return to town against a strong wind. On the way out of town, the pace was high, as riders tried to make an early move. The high pace saw several riders drop off the pack early on as the hilly parcours and high speed took its toll. As the pack went onto the circuit, a break had been established, and it spent most of the 3 laps with a gap that hovered around 1min.

Each time up the main climb, I was forced to ride my own pace, and found myself fighting to chase back on. Greg provided some assistance dropping back to pace me onto the bunch, having found myself gapped by a group of riders whose legs had had enough. Later on, I tried to repay the favour with some salt pills as Greg's legs started to feel some cramping creeping into the legs.

Exiting the circuit was a severe climb on rough roads, and it was time to really dig deep. It was here where Greg and I found ourselves yo-yo-ing off the back of the bunch, where he'd be on the tail end and I'd be gapped, or I'd be hanging on to the bunch, and he'd be gapped. Seven minutes later, most of which was spent at around a heart rate of 180 bpm, I was still holding on to the pack, while unfortunately I had become the only Nine2Five left in the group, Greg finally succombing to cramps and the sickness he had been dealing with leading up to the race.

With my survival strategy having worked out, I rolled into town still in the bunch, and ready to make the one move I had been waiting and hoping to make. A breakaway that got away on the return leg to town was dangling in front of the bunch, destined to be gobbled up. But when the pack hesitated with 1.5k to go, I knew that was my chance. Down the left hand side I accelerated, and one glance back told me two things: I had a gap....and a passenger....Another rider had followed my attack.

With so little road left before the finish, there was no time for games. I went full throttle, up to the break, and accelerated by them going down the main drag of Lac Megantic. A left, a right, and a U-turn into the final straightaway, and I had managed to be the first out of the final corner. Time to sprint.

I shifted down to the big gears, perhaps a bit premature, and started hammering for the finish. With 200m to go, my passenger that had followed my attack started his sprint, his finishing kick propelling him by me, while I crossed the line frustrated to have made the winning move, but not come home with the win....More fuel in the fire for next year....

All in all, a solid day on the bike, and a result earned mainly through sheer will power and suffering.

Check out the finishing sequence thanks to the fine photographic skills of Brian McFadzen:

Charlie Winding up for the Sprint

Charlie Winding up for the Sprint

The Winner Starting his Sprint

The Winner Starting his Sprint

Full Gas!!!!

Full Gas!!!!

Eyeing up the Finish Line

Eyeing up the Finish Line

The Drag Race Continues

The Drag Race Continues

Podium Time

Podium Time

Nine2FivePro Nationals Crew, with Brian behind the Camera

Nine2FivePro Nationals Crew, with Brian behind the Camera


Jake Scores a Podium at Preston....after crashing 3 laps in

JakeRichInPack
Rich Cornering in the Pack

Rich Cornering in the Pack

For the 2nd year in a row, Nine2FivePro's Jake Cleofas managed to place on the podium in the M2/M3 race at the annual Preston Street Criterium. One of the smoothest riders in the peleton, Jake had an uncharacteristic crash 3 laps in to the race, sliding out in a turn. However, a quick stop in the pits to check his machine, and a lap out to catch his breath, and he was right back in the race. Getting his composure back, and benefiting from the fast lead out of his teammate Rich,  Jake managed to deliver a finishing kick to snag the 3rd podium spot behind Rob Orange, and the winner, Brent Atkins. [caption id="attachment_197" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Rich Cornering in the Pack"][/caption]

Doug takes Bill Patterson Memorial Crit for 2nd Year in a Row

Podium
Nine2FivePro Team Celebrating a Win

Nine2FivePro Team Celebrating a Win

Nine2FivePro had a solid contingent of riders on the start line for the Bill Patterson Memorial Criterium. Each year the race provides a preview and a tune up for the local riders looking to go guns ablazin' the following weekend at the Preston Street Crit. And with some solid teamwork, and a well timed jump, Doug managed to snag the win for the 2nd year in a row. [caption id="attachment_191" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Nine2FivePro Team Celebrating a Win"][/caption]

May's Racing Recap by Grey Burns

Hey, it's time for some race reports!! It's been a while and there's been alot of action locally. Heck , 3 weekends in a row in May we had races.

First race was the 3rd running of the Gatineau GP Cycliste. In true fashion, it was stinking hot. We had Warren, Charlie, Duncan, Hans, Greg, Ryan and Andrew on the start. The race was a few weeks ago, so I can't remember too much about it. It was 100k. Hans and Andrew finished in the bunch and it was fast and hard.
Next up was 2 races as part of Kemptville's Dandelion Festival. On the Saturday was an insanely hard crit (I hear) and you basically walked away with a win if you stayed upright. All the boys did, so we had about 5 wins on the night! Yay!
The next day was the fairly short 180km Dandelion GP. Pretty much all the team was there (forgive me if I miss anyone): Hans, Charlie, Greg, Andrew, Duncan, Jason, Gerald, Doug, Marc and Warren plus maybe a few others who snuck into our kit. Hans planted himself in the race long breakaway (chapeau!). Charlie played around in a little chase group for a while. Doug wrecked a wheel but thanks to Marc, Warren, uh wait, not Warren, Gerald and Charlie, he got back into the game. Once Doug was back in the game, Hans caught word of this and sat up from the breakaway, which resulted in the rest of the guys sitting on the front doing the chasing. The race was mondo fast. I think 44km/h. Yes, that's 180km in less than 4hrs. In an Ontario race. This speed is mainly thanks to the independent rider Ryan Roth. The breakaway was caught with 3km to go (PRO!) and a mass sprint ensued. Doug scored a top 10. Nice. Both of these races were thanks mainly in part to the huge efforts of Ryan Phelps, race director deluxe. Great job Ryan.
And the next weekend was the Mississippi Mills GP put on by Ride With Rendall and hosted in Pakenham, Clayton and Almonte. The elites raced 4 stages: an 88km wet and hard circuit race in Pakenham on Friday night, an 18km TT in Clayton on Saturday morning, a 30 lap crit in Almonte on Sat evening, and a 170km road race in Pakenham on Sunday afternoon. Doug and Andrew donned the rain jackets, wetsuits, umbrellas and sowesters on Friday night. Many cries for "PIANO" were heard in the first km's (mainly from Andrew), but these went unheeded likely because the wind and rain were deafening. By the end of the race, it was nigh time as in dark! Doug didn't contest the sprint and came 9th. Wish I could not contest a sprint and still come 9th.
Sat mornings TT did not come close to resembling the profile in the technical guide. The tech guide showed heading out for 9k on a slight rise all the way, turnaround, and slight downhill all the way back. Too bad for the early riders who didn't get word that it was actually slight downhill first! Oops. Nothing like thinking you're flying and climbing at 45km/h to turn around and suffer like a dog for 9 more km. Doug had a great TT getting a 5th place and jumping up to 4th.
The crit in downtown Almonte proved to all those who don't know Almonte that it's in desperate need of some paving. Yikes. From potholed/flooded/100 degrees corners, to gravel sections through a parking lot and over a driveway curb then up a hill, it was a technical but mildly amusing course. We'd seen a lot of riders crashing in the earlier races we all knew to be safe. Doug flatted. Sigh. He still finished in the bunch. Andrew, being wise and crafty as he is, did the bare minimum 50% of the race and got pulled and started the next day.
The weather on Sunday was calling for rain all week long. Leaving Ottawa, sure enough, it was raining. They got up there, and it was dry! The race included a sweet 5km stretch of gravel which you had to know was going to approached by the bunch like it was the Arenburg forest from the famed Paris-Roubaix. Aaron Fillion had a handful of eager-to-please teammates who set the tempo for the first 120k or so and kept the race at a moderate pace. A few breakaways were attempted but nothing really stuck thanks to the RWR henchmen. By the end of the 3rd lap, there were just 1 or 2 these helpers left and as they took the bell lap, the bunch sat up and lone rider saw his chance and bolted. Slick. The pack ignored it and just rolled along. The were some good hard accelerations on the dirt section but the pack remained intact and content while the break was 1.5minutes up the road.
As the bunch got to 10k to go, the roads became straighter and the solo leader was in site and the bunch was inching forward. During a slight hestitation with 6km to go, Andrew took off in chase of the leader knowing full well the pack wouldn't even bat an eye at this move. He was joined by a rider from Peterborough and as they rounded the bend switching from crosswind to headwind, they kept their heads down. The pack was looking smaller and smaller off in the distance while the leader was getting bigger and bigger and the lights from the cop cars getting brighter. Andrew got popped with 4k to go but kept at 'er. By now the pack was imploding into small groups riding up the road. The first 2 man group sailed past Andrew and they eventually caught his original companion at the line, but didn't catch the solo leader who scored a pretty sweet, cheeky win. Doug lost only a few seconds on the stage to some of his nearest rivals and came in 10th which translated in to 3rd for the weekend! Andrew rolled in 16th on the stage and well, to find his name on the GC, start at the bottom and work your way up, but not too far. If you ask him, he'll tell you "ahh, it's just training". And, Doug kept his rear wheel in 1 piece for a change.
Big big thanks to all of the local organizers of these and all the races in Ottawa/Gatineau this year. This includes OBCCyclelogik,Ride With Rendall, Erik Lyman, Ryan Phelps. We counted 12 days of racing this season and this doesn't include cyclocross. Amazing! In fact, Ride With Rendall is responsible for 6 of these days!!! Support all of these organizations if you can this year or next. Mark all of these races on your calendar is you can.
-Andrew

Marc's Almonte-Roubaix Report

roubaix-preview

I don’t know how many times I hear it, but every year on the start line it gets repeated 15 times “THIS IS NOT A RACE!”  Hmmm… It’s a strange thing to get really excited about a race which isn’t a race; a ride so-to-speak that has no cash winnings and no incentive other than bragging rights to one of the most difficult “rides” of the classics season.  Yet, every year local racers scrutinize the ever-changing course for the best places to attack or, the worst places to be caught in the back of the pack.  Every year the excitement mounts for this classic, and every year it is hard as hell.

This year, the season has been mostly dry with the early melt of the snowpack, so potholes and thick mud were less of an issue.  However, a last-minute change to the course had people nervous, and questioning if they even wanted to race such a section.  The Challenge: a new rocky 2 km long double-track trail 10 km into the race that could wreak havoc on bike and body with what was described as a “lake crossing with a solid non-muddy base” right in the middle.  Many people voiced their concern for the new section, and the reports back confirmed the worst.  Well, for those that like gore in a race, it didn’t disappoint.

 

So, here’s my account of the 2012 Almonte Paris-Roubaix:

The skies were clear, it was cold, but enough above freezing that we didn’t have to worry about ice – what a relief considering the purported lake we had to cross.  The usual mingling and change room conversations about how to do this challenge were part of the routine as Hans, Warren, Charlie, Jake, Richard, Gerald, Andrew, Doug and I met at various times to chat or say hello.  We all knew, Doug was the man today – his form and fitness were proven, and we would try our best to rally around him and give him the best chance.  Prior to the roll-out there were people mentioning the idea of being gentlemanly through the new section, which I wasn’t opposed to, but thought it best to be up front as much as possible when I hit that section.

As usual, the roll-out was a few minutes late.  We rolled out, stopped at the re-grouping point, and then…hold onto your hats!  The speed at the start was shocking (considering this was my first ‘race’ of the season).  It settled a little after about 10 minutes, but it was clear - this was not a leisurely “ride”.  I kept my nose out of the strengthening wind but near the front, keeping tabs on fellow nine2fiver’s and the would-be players in this ride.  Soon enough, we came to an unfamiliar section to me.  “Be smooth” is all I could focus on as the wheels I was following were ducking and dodging head-size potholes and rocks.  I was rolling well until we came to the Lake.  I slowed for the guys who were at a near stop in front of me, something I was trying to avoid by being near the front, then Whack!  I got hit by someone rolling into the back of me; off my line I scrambled to regroup, but that was the last time I would see the front of the group; the lake had done its damage.  By the time I rolled out of the section I had no idea what place I was racing for, but I chased as if the next guy was the leader.  Eventually, I settled into a swelling group of 20 or so.  This evidently, was the chase group.

Unfortunately, the work being done was not evenly distributed and frustration mounted in the group.  All attacks thrown at the group increased the pace until the attacker was consumed back into the fold, then it would slow.  At this point, I had a hard time deciding if this should be a ‘race’ or simply a ‘ride’, so I decided to ride my own pace and with a new plan; keep hurting, attack on Darling road to shed riders and if I had anything left in the tank, leave it for the last wooded section and final 3 km.  After Darling road and the switchback climb, we had a decent group of guys who were working well together – though it was friendly, it was somewhat hostile for attacking.

The group seemed to be sweeping up some strong riders and we seemed to gain as many as we lost along the way.  Some Nine2Fiver’s made appearances in the group – Jake, who showed his strength by sticking with such a topsy-turvey pack, Warren who’s legs fell off from chasing hard up front, and Hans who with Warren, worked himself to implosion up front.  Through Hans I heard that Doug was well placed, and the race was being decided without our help – fair enough.

We hit the last wooded section, and I let it out.  Trying to be smooth through the woods, I was the first one of the group out of the woods – then I hit the gas towards the finish…only to explode against the headwind in the final 2 km’s and get reeled back in.  Finally, I set up for the final run-in to the finish - DONE!  There I found Doug, happily chatting on the side of the road he was second overall!  I was elated – his strength was certainly showing, and his smile was from ear to ear.  Not bad for a new Father!

I didn’t care where I ended up.  I just had another great day at the Almonte Paris-Roubaix, and lots of fun stories to tell.

Rich's Calabogie Race Report: First Top-10 Finish!

ScotchClub

[caption id="attachment_175" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="A little help from my friends the night before"][/caption] My first Top 10 finish. Yahoo!

I’m new to bike racing. After a couple of years of dipping my toe in the water, this year I decided to take the plunge and delve deep into the world of bike racing. I got a great head start this year with a trip to South Carolina, and a good performance at Clarence-Rockland until I flatted.  I was feeling pretty good, yet despite all the positive energy, I still get horrendously nervous before events and this morning was no exception.

I drove down with Jake and at the turnoff to the 511, I was getting serious second thoughts about the whole thing. The scotch club meeting the night before didn’t help matters. But after getting registered and dressed up in the new nine2five kit, (the new tights are awesome) I came back to earth.

This was my first Calabogie Race. I was in the M3 race. I wanted to race M2 with Jake but because this is my first year with a UCI licence, I had to race solo in M3. On the bright side, there was a bigger field with 60 riders.

Aside from the long registration line up, this event is well organized and a real joy to take part in. Our race started at 9:00 am with some cloud cover and a light wind. It was a bit chilly (2C) but after the first lap the chill disappeared. I was a little apprehensive about the course thinking that it would be pretty boring. But after the first couple of laps I began to really like it. There were 4 or 5 areas with a little dip-hill combo that was perfect for someone my size to attack. I was able to carry my momentum from the dips and slingshot through the field on the mini-climbs.

For the first 6 laps I experimented with some attacking to get a sense of what the field was like and where I could get the best launch.  I identified a great spot on lap 7 and made my move. I liked lap seven because the pack was becoming a little docile.  I calculated that at approximately 8 minutes per lap I would have to defend my attack for about 28 minutes. That was maybe a little ambitious. After the perfect launch I managed to get about 150 to 200 metres on the field. I was feeling pretty good, but one quick left hander and a small climb straight into the wind wiped me out. The attack lasted all of about 4 minutes. Uggg. I think that I might have been more successful if I figured out how to conserve some energy during the break. Ah, who knows?

So I fell back into the field and continued to look for opportunities. On lap 9, the duo from Tall Tree made a brilliant break on the first straightaway. It was perfect because we were heading directly into the wind and if they could hold it to the turn they would have a couple of minutes of recovery time in the tail wind and continue to build on their lead. In the end, they couldn’t make it stick and were reeled back after about 4 k. In hindsight, I should have been paying closer attention to them. I was feeling strong and if I had joined them, it might have been different. Lessons learned.

So the final lap (lap 11) was approaching and I had a decision to make. A.) attack from where I attacked on lap 7 or B.) save myself for the finish and hope for the best. I liked plan A but I was caught out of position and got boxed in. Plan B it is.

The pace was picking up half way though the last lap. Riders were beginning to get a little reckless. A rider next to me clipped the grass on the inside of a corner and took out about a half-dozen riders. There’s a great video of the crash at vimeo.com/40868972. I kept going with a focus on improving my position. By the last corner, I was only a few bike lengths behind the leader. I put down the power and mashed on the pedals but couldn’t make up the difference. I ended up 6th.

Overall a fun race and one that I think I could have one if I was a bit smarter. A team effort would definitely been welcome. Next year.

- Big Richie J

 

 

 

Andrew's Report from Calabogie Road Classic

OnTheWayToTheTrack

We were a small team today with only 4; Charlie, Greg, Ryan and myself. The field too was also small, only about 40 guys. And in traditional Calabogie fashion, it was cool (about 10 degrees) and quite windy. Obviously ideal conditions for an early breakaway to go.

We didn't have a real plan except get a man in the early break and keep Greg and Ryan in the pack in case it all comes back together for the finish. For the first 40k, the field tried and tried to get a breakaway gone, but it just wouldn't until it finally did. We were trying to get at least one of us in it, but to no avail. And once that plan didn't succeed, the next goal was to try and get into the chase group. I saw the chase group start when Aaron Fillion attacked up the complete opposite side of the road. I tried to get on his wheel for about 500m, but I just dangled less than a bike length off him and I just couldn't close that infernal gap. And poof, he was gone and then he was joined by a few others and the team completely missed out.
From there, it was just try and keep the pace of the pack going, just in case who knows what happens up front. I ended up in small second chase group of 3 on the 3rd last lap, but I knew that it was just for the leftover scraps, and to have a good hard effort for the last 20minutes of a 110k road race. You never know when you're going to be in that situation but going for a win. In the end, the breakway stayed clear, and we stayed clear and I was outsprinted (no big surprise there) for 16th place and I finished up 18th. On the plus side, we all finished the race and stored a few fitness dollars in the fitness jar for the bigger races later in the year.

Jake's Clarence-Rockland Race Report

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The first 14 km were nerve racking. Racers were trying to get their position before the gravel hill. I tried to stay in the mid front and I kept a few bikes behind Hans. We were warned by Mr. Chaney that some gravel spots were 1 to 3 inches in size and he was not kidding. The first section, The Surprise! I had to pick my line and stayed on the shoulder of the road where the gravel was smaller. I survived this section but Warren did not. I gave him my rear wheel and he was gone right back in the mix. I looked back and there was about 20 riders fixing their flats just like me. Richard J and Ryan P were victimized as well.  Flat fixed but the cassette didn't fit that great. Weird. The support truck came by and stopped. I was hoping for a spare wheel but he was out. Back on the bike for a few meters, then off the bike and my day was done. I walked for about 15 min, enjoyed landscape and talked to friendly farmers seeing if I was OK. The broom wagon arrived. Sweet!

I felt great that day but we had to get Warren back on the road and maybe for a podium. The roads were angry on Sunday, taking as many wheels as it could.

DNF mechanical.