Posted by Editoress on 05/7/12
David Byer has prepared a race report from Springbank that is, shall we say, more colourful than most...
The 44th annual Springbank Road Races were held on May 6th. The Elite race was run at 2pm. The temperature was 20 degrees Celsius with winds out of the North East at 15km/h, 30% relative humidity, and a barometric pressure of 101.96 kpa... and falling. The setting is a picturesque family park in London, Ontario; perfect for picnics, family get-togethers and a good old fashioned pedal derby. There were 317 people in attendance not including regular park goers.
With races running all day, the well-oiled organizational juggernaut that is the London Centennial Wheelers combined with the dynamic Commissaires of the Ontario Cycling Association to keep the races on schedule. I took to the line on time with my Octto-Cervélo teammates. A quick perusal of the riders on the line told me that we were up against some of the strongest Master racers in Ontario. The mood at the corral was pensive, nervous; if I had to describe my emotional state as a colour, it was grey... with hints of magenta.
Also present on the start line was the imposing figure of Jeffrey Schiller along with his vibrant Garneau - Quebecor - Norton Rose team of Ballenstrini, Li, Degiacomo and completed by the return of Heart Throb geologist Kyle Fry. Combined with the sprinting power on Wheels of Bloor, Nacsworld and Sound Solution riders, our approach had to be attack to force a break and disrupt a pack sprint finish. This strategy was tough to implement with only 4 riders entered into the race.
Garneau opened the attacks on the first lap with one rider at a time jumping clear. Before long, I found myself following their moves putting little space between the pack and any given break. Not to make excuses, but I had been sick all week. In fact, just hours before I was on death’s bed. And, of course, I had built an entire house the morning of the race with my bare hands before riding to London from Toronto in time for the start.
As the race progressed, I watched my teammate Yuri Huryr... Yuri Hyree... Yuri H go up the road with a promising group. As his group was captured, Octto-Cervélo rider Kevin Black was quickly to the fore with a vicious attack of his own. However, with the high pace of a pack willing to sprint relentlessly for $25 gift certificate preems, there was a general lack of cohesion in any of the small groups that sought to gain advantage.
Approximately half way through the racé, I found myself on the wheel of Schiller as he bridged up to the attacking Peter Morse (Octto-Cervélo). Once connected, we struggled to find a rhythm. I thought of this group as an opportunity to make something happen with a teammate so I began to ride. As I was taking a herculean pull in the head wind, Andrew De Cal surged to the fore with an impressive turn of speed. It made me weak in the knees. So astounded by his pace jolting turn, I had to slowly slip back to the fast approaching peloton. The barometric pressure had dropped by 1.4kpa.
I believe it was around this point that a lady dressed all in black stepped out on to the course to wish us luck with a Romanian blessing. It was an omen of the imminent sprint finish.
With five laps remaining, I struck out one final time with a rider who was particularly difficult to draft. Unfortunately our little group was more interested in the Glory of a Preem sprint that sticking to the finish. We had no chance and were swallowed up with one lap remaining.
The last lap was a friendly and familiar affair that featured a break dancing competition about 600 metres from the finish line. Peter Mogg won. I was forced to perform a bunny hop and mid-air barrel roll to avoid Mogg. But don’t worry; I totally stuck the landing and Octto wheels are strong. Yuri took one last defiant flyer, almost hanging on until the finish with Schiller unleashing a furious sprint for the win. I think that guy has won this race 8 of the last 7 times. Don’t ask how.
*this report is 100% factual. [Ed. Except for this line.]
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