Tsolum River Road Race
May 6th, 2012
A bunch of the Pro City boys were up in Comox this past Sunday for the Tsolum River Road Race put on by the Comox Valley Cycle Club. Tom, Dan, Alex, Jeff Doyle, Erik, Ryan, and myself (Josh) all lined up for the A race.
Tom informed me before the race that he was going to attack from the gun and try to get away in a break from the get go. Why the hell not? I figured, so I told him I'd try to go with him. As I was walking over to register, though, I saw that Jordan Duncan, fresh off his GC win for Cat3 at Race the Ridge, was in attendance. "Change of plans" I told Tom, "I'm going to mark Jordan"
As promised, Tom went full gas before he even finished clipping in, and the first 1/4 lap or so was flat out along headquarters. Jordan followed Tom, so I followed as well. There's not much I hate more than going zero to full gas at the start of a race with no warm up, and I was in a world of hurt, got briefly gapped, but managed to claw back to Alex's back wheel. It ended up being short lived, as the pack chased hard and got back on before we had completed even half a lap.
After some attacks and acceleration, the first break of the day got clear. Looked like a good one. I think it was 5 guys in total with Ryan and Dan in there. As the only well represented team in the pack, and in the spirit of not getting into negative racing tactics as the only full team in attendance, the pro city guys in the pack continued to pull through and do their share of the work, while letting the other riders dictate the pace and effort of the chace.
After about a lap and a half, the break got reeled back, and the attacks started again. This time I managed to get away in a break with 4 other guys. Jordan was there. He was wearing a comox kit, and had a teammate with him. We got a good paceline going and stayed away for about three laps. As time went on, I started feeling better and better with the hard effort.
We got reeled back in on lap 4, and I was surprised to see the pack at that point. Ryan told me after that the pro city boys had done a lot of the work bringing it back as they didn't like the 2 on 1 odds I had against me in there.
At the start of lap 5 going up the hill, the pace quickened and the group split, with 8 guys getting clear. I managed to make that group along with Dan and Jeff. This looked like a good one, so we started rolling a fast paceline to try to increase our gap. Before long the group was down to six guys, as a couple guys fell casualty to the pace. Dan (the TT machine) and Jeff were both looking strong, and I was feeling good. On the last lap, to my surprise, Jordan suddenly sat up, stood up, and started labouring up the rise on headquarters rd. I thought he was playing possum to sit in for the sprint. I even told Jeff I thought he was faking, but he fell off the back soon after that. (He later told me something was up, and he couldn't get his heartrate up the entire race, felt like he was going to fall off his bike at that point).
With half a lap to go, Jeff, Dan and I started trading soft attacks on the guys remaining in the group and forcing them to chase down every one to soften them up for the finish. With 500 to go Jeff attacked, and I followed the wheel of the guy who went to chase him down, at about 250 to go, I attacked around him and he couldn't respond. I rolled through the line for the win well clear, and Jeff managed to come back around for 2nd place. Dan held in for 4th place after a strong showing in the lead group.