Warm-up for the Banff-Ave criterium. Sulphur Mountain in the background.
Photo: Jon Wood
Banff Bike Fest was a frustrating weekend, it was fun and I learned a lot, but performance was poor and I made a number of mistakes. I rode a top 10 performance in the Thursday night hill-climb, coming in less than 10 seconds shy of the win. I got my absolute best out of myself on this climb but suffered tremendously as a result. I aches in my lungs for two days following, this included the road-race the next day and the morning of the TT. I made an error regarding my start-time for the TT which got the best of my mentally and I did not ride according to my ability as a result of loss of focus. The mistake was an amateur error and letting it affect my performance was another amateur error. Despite this I rode 45 seconds faster than the year prior. I felt that I raced quite well in the criterium despite getting stuck near the back early on. I kept calm and maintained position and did move up the field on a number of occasions when the opportunity presented itself. This was a big success in my eyes despite a poor ranking in the end and having no ability to make contributions on behalf of the team. Following the race, I recovered poorly, delaying re-fueling for too long, and not getting enough good quality rest. If I race again I will be staying in Banff, the price differential is not worth the opportunity cost to the race itself. The next morning I suffered fatigue and abnormally responding HR during the RR, I was in the mix during attacks and counter attacks on the first lap but couldn’t feed enough fuel to the muscles during the climbs to stay with the pack. This resulted in me being gapped by the peloton on two or three different spots on the circuit and being forced to chase back on. After being dropped for the fifth time it took all that I had in me to catch back on including the help of drafting a truck to gain some speed. By the time I got back on my peripheral vision was going grey and I decided I was a liability to the peloton to ride like that an on the next uphill I resigned myself to the fact that I didn’t have what it was going to take to ride with them. I did another lap and a half at that point to make sure that I got a result of +laps instead of DNF. I wasn’t sure if it would have any bearing on my eligibility to have my hill-climb count towards the Team-GC competition. In the end, our club placed third on the GC with all 7 of 7 having times count towards the final result, something we were quite proud of.