Once again Doug Bristow keeps us close to the action … Silver Goose UCI C2 and Pan Am Cx Champs! …
Junior Cyclocross update …
An exciting weekend of racing was held Nov 3-4 in Midland Ontario with the Silver Goose UCI C2 race, as well as the Pan Am Championships. Our young juniors, Ryan MacLean and Luke Bristow, headed out with coach Tracy, Ken Germaine, Caitlin Callaghan, and me. The course at Little Lake Park is apparently a favorite among Ontario CXers so the group was excited to give it a go.
It had been raining during the week, so Saturday brought a challenging muddy course. Tracy, Ken and Caitlin raced in the Masters’ Pan Am events in the morning to show the kids how it was done, and all had solid finishes (Tracy 9th, Ken 12th and Caitlin 4th in their respective age categories).
Ryan MacLean warming up -
The Saturday Silver Goose Junior race was seeded for those who had UCI points and then a random draw for the rest. One of the primary objectives of our trip to Sherbrooke two weeks earlier was for Ryan to get UCI points so he would have front row seeding in subsequent races. That went exactly according to plan, resulting in Ryan being in the front row for the weekend. Luke went into the random draw and came out with the coveted 34th bib in Saturday’s 36 person race.
Tracy ensures everyone is ready to race - Luke and Ryan warm up -
The course lived up to its billing and was a great challenge. Ryan got off to a strong start leaving the pavement and entering the mud right at the front. However, the next half lap did not go exactly as planned as Ryan dropped back to about 18th. In talking to him post-race, he felt his tires were not ideal for the conditions as he said he thought he was riding well, but quickly losing ground to the group he rode with in Sherbrooke. After dropping off the pace, he battled hard and climbed back to 12th. Luke meanwhile rode a solid race and finished 23rd. The mud definitely strung out the race, as people were falling all over the place slowing other riders and making it very difficult to catch back up.
Luke putting all those hard RG stair workouts to use. This was the second of two consecutive staircases … phewf! -
Sunday was the Pan Am Championships for the juniors and the clear skies of Saturday evening dried out the course, so it was mostly tacky with some muddy patches. The junior field was basically the same as the day before with a couple of additional riders. Ryan got off to a strong start and left the pavement in about 6th position. Luke’s start was incredibly nerve wracking for a parent. As the group bolted off the start, Luke went to the outside on the right to try and gain ground. The group widened out at high speed and Luke was being pushed towards the metal barriers and could not get out. Just as the inevitable was going to happen, there was a gap in the metal barriers. Luke was pushed outside the barriers and off the course. The rider to his left smashed into a barrier at high speed and somersaulted over it and onto the pavement. Meanwhile Luke was still riding outside the course. A few meters ahead, there was another gap in the barriers. Luke rode through the tape and back onto the course completely unscathed!! That did not just happen did it? Clearly my wife’s singing Sunday morning mass at St. Joseph’s Basilica pays off at times like this.
Ryan and Carter Woods go to work closing down the leaders -
… getting close … huffing and puffing along the beach …
A lead group of 4 formed and Ryan was in a chase group of 4 riders a few seconds back. This continued for a couple of laps in the 5 lap race, until eventually Ryan and Carter Woods (2018 Canadian MTB champion) worked together to bridge up to the lead group. A couple of riders dropped off and five were left at the front. Meanwhile, Luke had reached the point in the race where he was not going to catch the rider ahead nor was he going to be caught by anyone behind. The last two laps saw the lead group of five stick close together with nobody able to drop the other until shortly before the finishing straight when the group started to spread out. Ryan sprinted across the line in 5th - only 6 seconds out of the lead! Another fantastic result in the biggest junior CX race in North America this season. Luke rolled in 27th, not as high as he would have liked but happy to be in one piece. Ken and Caitlin also raced the Masters race Sunday with Ken finishing 5th and Caitlin 3rd. Overall a very fun weekend.
We also had Sidney McGill from Juventus (in Focus colours) in the U23 Women’s race, and Ken Germaine and Tracy Shearer in Master Men!
Sidney McGill racing up the stairs … she finished 8th in U23!
Ken is not missing a step -
Next stop is Canadian Nationals in Peterborough.