Canada Day Crit

Photo from gallery: Racing 2011

The Canada Day Criterium is a long standing tradition in Alberta Cycling. It takes place on a nice loop of road in the park behind the Alberta Legislature, with a hill, a couple relatively tight corners and a blazing fast descent on each lap. It’s the only points race of year… but I wasn’t really anticipating I’d be trying to accumulate any points. I was going to try and finish with the pack on my debut race in the new category. The elite guys were slotted to do 32 laps. There were points to be won on intermediate sprints on every 4th lap. 5,3,2,1 to the top 4 guys across the line each time, and double points at the finish.

It started out fast but reasonable, I was able to stick with the group, and when little gaps formed I was able to keep closing them down. It felt like I had it under control, realistically though, I didn’t I was doing too much work. In the end, those little gaps were the big problem of the day. At the corner just before the long descent I was always rolling in towards the end of the pack, but every time I tried to improve my position I would be pushed backwards within 10-15 seconds. I’d need to slow it down for this corner and then lean it way over to get around. I was really hesitant to pedal around the corner, I probably could as a few of the other guys were pedalling, but it was a matter of millimeters of clearance or I’d clip my pedal on the pavement. That was to be my downfall. It meant that I had to ramp up the power all the way down the hill to make up a fraction of a second to stick with the group. The guys in front of me just had to sit there and draft. I ended up working for half of the lap every lap. Everyone in the middle of the group was working for maybe 20 seconds on the hill and then just sitting in for the rest of the ride. Cory had advised me to just sit in and coast for as much of the lap as I could… the problem was that I couldn’t. I’ve got skills to learn.


Photo from gallery: Racing 2011

Photo from gallery: Racing 2011

Photo from gallery: Racing 2011

I lasted 16 laps, I had been dropped twice but had fought my way back on both times. The 16th lap was an intermediate sprint and when the group accelerated for the points at the line I got spit off the back and that was it for the day. I managed to do 6 more laps solo before I got lapped out. The win went to Aaron Schooler who spent more than half the race off the front with Jeff Barnes who came second.


Photo from gallery: Racing 2011

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