While the race was held on a Sunday the conditions were actually influenced by the weather on the Saturday leading up to it. It poured rain all day Saturday which of course created a muddy mess for race day, The drive to Paris on Sunday morning looked promising with cool temps, a strong wind but clear skies.
By the time we arrived at the start line the corral for wave 1 was already filling up and a number of us made the decision to skip the warm up and head straight for the start corral - BIG MISTAKE!!
After waiting for 20 minutes the gun finally went off and wave 1 was underway. The pace right from the gun was full throttle, leaving my cold legs to scream for oxygen as the lactic acid flooded to my quads, 100's of riders fight for position in an attempt to make it to the front groups, its an amazing adrenaline rush as the race heats up. At the 20 km mark the course leads you to a steep mud hill that forces most riders off their mounts. The run up the hill is pure torture, your legs feel like lead and trying to keep your heart rate in control is impossible - once you get your body under control you've then got another 40 km's
The course takes you over every possible terrain, single track, rail bed, paved highways, farmers fields, even mud slides and after 60 kilometers of grueling wind, sleet, rain and snow you arrive in Ancaster completely wasted but feeling so good for having ridden as hard as you possibly can. personally I learned a lot about racing in this race, you've gotta fight for the front, you've got to be ready to go from the gun, there's no settling into a tempo like you do on a group ride, you've got to be aggressive and move up instead of moving back, as soon as you move back you get dropped, I also learned that you can't count on others to pull you along, they would rather ride you off their wheel!!! I also learned that I have a lot more to learn about bike racing!!!!
For me racing isn't so much about winning - I'm no where near the front, for me racing has more to do with challenging myself and never giving up (although believe me there were many times when I wanted to turn around, pack it in and get myself warmed up!!) its about digging as deep as I can for as long as I can and seeing what happens when I do.
it was awesome to see so many MG riders out there, we had some amazing results, some tough luck and yet all of us made it to the finish line with a huge smile on our faces. I'm proud of all you guys!! This is what cycling is all about - its about pushing yourself, digging as deep as you can and making it to the finish line!!!!
Special mentions go to Shannon, Tim, Derrek, Kevin, Graham, Corey, Dave, David, Edmond, Kim, Scott, Mark, Fraser, Robin, Marie and I'm sure I'm missing others on an amazing race, you all represented MGridetoronto very very well - proud of all of you for your results!!!