On May 13th (Mother’s Day) I said good bye to my Mom at Pearson and flew over to Holland to spend 6 weeks racing my bike for a club team based in Utrecht.
Google Map- http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=utrecht&hl=en&gbv=2&hnear=Utrecht,+The+Netherlands&gl=ca&t=m&z=12
Club Team –
Shedding light on the last 8 months of intense & disciplined training, all due to the support of the MGCC, I needed to test my legs with some serious racing, of which would have been too few and far between in and around back home. With a number of relationships that I have made within the peloton, I was able to secure room and board in Utrecht as well as a promise from the club team President that if I were to ride well in the B races (weekday races) that I would get an opportunity to ride in the A races (weekend races).
I gathered my fitness and form, packed them all up, and jumped a plane to the Netherlands knowing that this is what was needed in my preparation to accomplish my HUGE GOAL of winning the Canadian Elite National Time Trial taking place June 21st in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
Having arrived in Utrecht, I quickly earned a spot on the club’s A team and set out in the first few races in my new colours working for the established leaders of the team. I had done well, banked some acceptable results, kept my mouth shut, and worked very very hard for the team.
This past Friday, June 1st, after all the work I had willingly done for my teammates, I was told by the club team President that I was to be the team leader in what would be the biggest race of the season to date. I had the team at my disposal to work for me versus what I had been doing for the established team leaders in the 2 weeks before hand.
I knew this was an opportunity that I could not let slip between my fingers. This is what I had been waiting for.
I had my best result to date, winning the Flexpoint Limburgs Mooiste. I would say that this race is takes the peloton over one of the hardest courses in the Netherlands, having 137 riders crossing the starting line and only 64 riders at the finish. The hills, short and very steep, in Holland take their toll on the riders and the whole peloton just suffers. Most of the time it is the strongest that will survive to fight it out in the end and it just so happened that this day was perfect for me.
Watching closely as opposing teams tactics tried and failed, mainly because my team was there to support me and because the pace up those damn hills was draining on everybody. I patiently watched and waited for the time that would be most discouraging for any rider to follow me on an attack. With 30 KMS to go I found myself in the lead break with 14 riders, all of which were contenders for first prize and whose best interests were to make sure we were not caught by the chasing peloton. We worked well together growing a large gap to the point at which our cohesion soon turned into all out war. On the last lap, I was feeling very confident in my ability, and I attacked sprinting at full speed into a 1 KM hill with an average grade of 9%. Not one of my fellow break riders followed me thinking that I would not be able to stay away. They maintained a steady pace watching and waiting for me to explode and to roll backwards into the group. That was their mistake. I held 626 watts for well over 2 mins up that hill and gained a gap on my competitors that they would not be able to close. From the top of that climb to the finish, it was just a bit of mind body separation to achieve my T.T. state of suffering as I soloed for the win. Once the 13 riders chasing me realized I was not coming back they quickly set off to hunt me down but to no avail. As I was TT’ing to the finish I told myself “don’t look over your shoulder, don’t look over your shoulder , don’t look over your shoulder“ for I knew that if the commissaries’’ cars were still there 10 yards behind me then the chasing group were not that close. Having the last 2 KMS in my sights, I ramped it up giving myself a larger cushion of victory and enough time for a proper solute to pay respect to the team as well as the club team President Wim Sluis.
Here is a great race recap video that was played on Dutch TV.
Coming this Sunday I have a race in the same region of Holland. Tons of climbing again but this time we will tackle 210KMS vs. the 140 KMS last Friday.
To be frank, I am in disbelief with my fitness and form so far, it feels as if I can achieve anything during a race. Watching over my shoulder at the grimaces and buried heads of pain, almost gives me strength to push harder.
I receit my goals and objectives on a daily basis and I feel 150% confident that I am on track.
I absolutely could not have accomplished this without my friends, family and the MGCC who have been there supporting this dream.
THANK YOU MGCC!!!!!!!!!
See you all out on the road!!!!!!!