The weekend was definitely a kick in the teeth. The weekend joke was: how any other season we have a nice transition to the Stage Races, but this year, it was required that we all hit the ground running! Or spinning in this case.
The trip up to Edmonton on Friday was probably the worst part of the weekend. It rained all the way up and then we hit the snowstorm north of Ponoka. It snowed and rained all night, and even at 7:15am you could still hear the wind lashing the rain against the window of the hotel. By some act of god, when I got up at 7:45am, convinced that we would be time-trialling in a cold rain, the rain had stopped, and the sun was out!
The time trial and road race took place outside the town of Josephburg again. I posted a pretty reasonable time of 14:32 on the 11K time trial, considering the wind was still howling. However, the winning time by Jamie Sparling was a riduckulous 13:10. Hmmm...still wondering if a road downgrade isn't out of the question? It was something that Craig was contemplating over the weekend. My time was 23rd best in Cat 2, would've been 3rd best in Cat 3. No matter. It's only May, right?
We loaded up the vans after the ITT and headed back to the hotel, and even had enough time before the Crit to lay down for almost an hour. We headed to the Alberta Research Park just as the Cat 4 race was starting. I neglected to get a proper warm up for our race (failure further detailed below), and this led to a very painful start to the 45-minute Crit. I ended up falling off the lead pack led by the Victoria Gigabike/La-Z-Boy team, however a chase pack of approximately fifteen guys formed shortly afterward and staved off being pulled out of the race by the overtaking lead pack for 40 minutes. Of course, I didn't even really feel human until about 25 minutes into the race. I'm starting to think those long warmups are a very good idea.
Having the trade team around certainly upped the ante (and the pace) of all the races this weekend. So much for that gentle transition! LOL
We headed back to the hotel afterwards, ordered some pizza, made some phone calls, and crashed out. We were on the road to Josephburg again at 8:30am on Sunday. Once again I neglected to properly warm-up (when will I learn? -- maybe next weekend), and the pace at the onset of the Cat2 Road Race was blistering. The neutral ride up to the start line was at 40kph (one would wonder who was doing rails of coke on the dashboard of the pilot car?), and then an attack went and the chase formed immediately. The speed went up to about 50kph, and once we hit the crosswind (the wind was still howling as on Saturday), I was devastated. The legs were screaming in pain. I fell off the back and proceeded to ride 100km by myself as a training ride. What the hell, eh? I helped out some of the Juniors including a teammate to try and catch back onto the Cat 3 pack they had fallen off of, but it didn't work out. They did manage to form a group of about six stragglers again before I pulled ahead and proceeded to ride the last 40km or so by myself. Lots of time for contemplation....yes, it is only May, but I need to get a lot more mileage in to facilitate the move from the running legs to the cycling legs. As long as it's all in place in the next four weeks....eep.
There were 10 Synergy racers in Edmonton for the weekend, and there were lots of impressive results. Both Natasha and Steph had very good placings in the Women's A Top 5. Craig D ended up an impressive 11th in the Cat 2 GC.
After the long wait for results and prizes, we all loaded up and hauled ass back to Calgary. After I got everything dumped off at home, I went over to Ryan's place to catch the tail end of a barbeque he and Jackie put together. A couple of beers, a thick steak, a few laughs and I was done. Home to bed, psyching up for my hell week at work.
Next weekend? The Bici race weekend!