Monday, 1 October 2012

Day 2: 2012 Vanier Cyclcross Race Report

Day 2: Vanier CX presented by Trek Red Truck and West Coast Racing

Day 2 of the double header was another dry sufferfest. Another grass crit course in Vancouver, Vanier was much like in years previous: a beautiful setting that hosts a fast, bumpy, start into the stairs, past the neutral support, up the false flat climb, through the trees, descend to the infield, maze through the 180s, climb back up to the museum, descent into the barriers, past the Bard on the Beach tent teardown, then loop back to the start/ finish. Both M1/2 and M3/4 had to go through 7 laps. Aaron had a strong start in M3/4, eventually settling into second wheel, but Vincent Marcotte was too smooth and too strong, making his ridelook effortless, and he rode away from the entire field to claim his first CX win.

AW Trying to nail down a win, only to come up a bit short to Vincent Marcotte.
One year ago in M3/4, I was third to Simon Pulfrey (1st on a full suspension Specialized, no less--still in awe of that ride) and John Irvine, two fast moving powerful racer. This year, Aaron came in third, continuing to add to his great season of a 2nd in Abby and a win at New Brighton. He is learning that CX is a different beast on a different day, and that if you win one day, things can change overnight. Unless you are Bob Welbourn. 

Bob is another clean, smooth CX racer, and all he does is win. That is just like Bob: dressed in the brand new all black (Sunday's Best Racing kit) like the guys in the video, except Bob actually wins. I don't really know if Ludacris or DJ Khaled enter bike races. I bet not. Bob would school them both.

And speaking of the lovely Bob Welbourn, I must say that up close, he is not as sexy as I originally thought back at Abby CX. Up close, the guy is a quite slender, fair haired handsome fella, and all around great guy. I had to get a pic with him, as he was the winner of my M1/2 race beating superhorses Chris McNeil and Martin Bojeson after spending the day before racing the big guns of Elite 1/2 at New Brighton. Those three are pretty amazing CX'ers. I say they should hold a CX clinic, or coach, or something. Think about it boys.  

With Bob after his win. Congratulations, sexy beast!

I tried to start front row, but racers settled in front of Ryan Newsome, Matt Drown, Mike Murphy and myself. Next thing I know I am third row. The start was fast, congested, bottlenecked, and redlined. I managed to get on the Drown, Murphy, Irvine train for the first 3 or 4 laps. Niels Steiner and myself battled hard, but then I came to my senses and tried to drop him realizing, for the second day in a row, that he was on his single speed, and that be damned if I was not going to use my gears to pull away from him. Then, the race broke apart, and went away from me, as my teammate Jon Taylor kindly noted to me from the sidelines. Tyler Dumont was nipping at my wheel all race, one corner separated, as things managed to stretch then slightly come back together. At this time, I do not know the results, but I am hopeful that I was top 12 or 14 not last place, an improvement over the first race of the season. One thing I would have utilized more during this race was my big ring. I seemed to forget that I had one, and used it maybe once on the course. Perhaps that is where a bit more torque and speed might come from.

**Update: The results. They are grim. See 21st place. It is like my first year of CX all over again....

21st place. Uggghh.  I think I will retire from running effective, immediately.
Like at New Brighton the day before, I just could not get my HR up close enough to 180bpm, something that I need to do to get the extra horse-power back in my legs. I was doing every friggin' thing to go faster and faster today, totally at the limit, but not where I was last year. In fact, I was only 20 seconds slower than my brother's 3rd place time in M3/4. That is still a bit of time, but not nearly enough to make much of a difference in the M1/2 cat. Check the body results. I need to get those extra 10 bpm going for the next few races, and perhaps a set of tubulars. And a carbon frame. And a power tap. All three will make me faster. Maybe. I will just keep telling myself that, and shelling out more money for masters bike races, and bike parts. The details:

I managed to catch up with some good friends, and like Bob, got to snap some pics with my longtime friend and ex-basketball team-mate/ex-Kamloops neighbor/ fellow father of twins, Ryan Kazakoff: One of the most soft spoken, fiercest competitors I know. He had a great result in M3/4, and once he dials in his tubulars, and figures out how to ride in corners (coming from a tri-background--sorry Ryan, the tri-truth should be known) he will be a force to be reckoned with.

Ryan "Ironman" Kazakoff and me.  

Also soft spoken and fierce, what would my blogpost be without a pic of me and Tyler Dumont. This guy scares me with how fast he can be. Our wives think there is something more going on between us, but I assure you, we like to kick the hell out of each other as racers, and have some good chats. That is all, really. This time I beat him cleanly. Although it is the second race that I have "beaten" Tyler this year even if the last one was only on paper. And the result of a Cycling BC screw up the results, altogether, from Abby CX. 

Kelly, we are really just friends.

Lastly, I managed to meet up with Mike Murphy, winner of the 2012 Meet Your Maker, and fellow CX'er from 2011. He was on form racing his tubulars more than a shade faster than me. Like Bob, the guy has some tiny legs, but sooooo much power coming out of them. Also a father of twins, we racers need to meet up and form a club or something. My saving grace as I get older, is that I look to guys like Mike, Bob and Tyler and see that there is no way that they are slowing down as they age. They only get quicker as they are into their 40s. Being 36, there is nothing to fear with turning 40, like I once thought in my immature pre-35 years.

Mike"MYM50 Champ" Murphy and me, post race. This guy is an animal runner and biker. I bet he can swim too.

All told, I came away from Vanier with a mini-leatherman, water bottle, some tasty food, good pics and a bit of a tan on my legs and arms. The only injuries that I sustained were from Sven whipping bottles and mini-tools at the crowd.

Thanks to Sven Sturm and Trek Red Truck, Matt Klymson, Mike Tunnah and the West Coast Racing crew, and to Kim Steed and Steed Cycles for the kids race. These types of well supported races with the atmosphere that these races had this past weekend make CX the most fun type of racing around. If only we could get 300 people out to them, and spectators, we would be well on our way to bigger events. Bring your friends and families out to them next time. CX is the best season of all! Now is time for some rest as this race pushed me over 50 hours of exercise/races for the month of September, the most I have done in any single month this year.

Although I love to do it, the running is not helping the bike racing in the least. If I want to get better, I should really focus on one discipline. But they are both so much fun. I am tired and looking to recover and get stronger for the BC CX championships.... and some cross country running. Yet again, sabotaging myself....

Pics from both days:
Doug Brons
Daryl Evans Racing Photostream by Jeff Hanninen
Amir Shahrestani

Results to follow.