Posted by Editoress on 04/19/04
Paris to Ancaster 2004, Gears race report
by Nathan Chown
I had to get in the car after the race to go to work so I'll provide a little race report, since I did not get go to "the after race mixer."
There was a thunder shower prior to the start but it stopped before the gun went off. So, needless to say, it was a mud fest. The start was hard, but not killer (compared to cross races), and all the big guns were there for the first 15 mins. Gears was well represented in the front with Tim Oliver, Mike Denis, Dan Lefebvre (Gears) and myself in the mix.
I have never done the race but, thanks to Dan's brother Tim Lefebvre, I knew the general area of the first selection area. After 15 mins, there is a hard right turn onto a steep climb of loose gravel, I saw riders shift to the little ring so I followed. When we hit the climb Peter Morse (Midweek) and I got a good gap on everyone after the loose section. I told some guys at the start they had too much psi in the tires, but as usual no one listened.
We worked tempo up the rest of the climb and continued to hold a good gap. After a bit Buck (Kevin) Miller (Jetfuel) bridged up and the three of us worked together but no one wanted to go to hard. After 10 mins or so we were caught by the chasers. In the chase group there were two Gears teammates- Tim Oliver and Dan.L. At this point it looked good for a possible Gears win (with 3 out of 7 in the front group from Gears). The others being Tim Lefebvre (Jetfuel), Ramon Mira De Orduna (St.Catharines CC), Peter Morse, Buck Miller and one other rider. However from there the race took a, slight, turn for the worse.
When the group hit the next section of single track, "disaster" hit, my chain got sucked behind my cassette (not good for speed). After a 20-30 secs delay I hit the single track again and pinned it, caught Dan and Tim Oliver's group and felt pretty good. However Buck Miller and Peter M. had left this group and now were 20 secs up the road (40 mins into the race). I rode past the chase group and tried to bridge up, to the front guys. Dan was having bike issues, Tim O. was on a mountain bike and Tim L. had a flat, so I made a (quick) decision to go it alone and chase the two leaders as it was now a long pavement section.
I got to 10 secs but then they looked around and ramped it up. I stayed at 30-50 secs for around an hour. I felt if I keep to a minute I had a shot a second if one of the leaders crashed/flatted etc. I could no longer see anyone behind so I thought third at worst.
I got a flat with about 5 k to go! Someone told me I only had 2 k to go - so I decided to ride it out figuring it would be faster to ride the flat for "2 k" than to fix it then ride. Note: Rule #1 - you can't make decisions involving math or deep thought after 1:48 mins of racing in ankle deep mud and massive headwinds. (I guess that is why the pros have race radios ha ha :)
I was caught with about 100 meters left to the line and took 4th. Peter M won with Buck in second. Other Gears results are as follows:
Tim Oliver 12th place
Dan Lefebvre 19th place
Michael Dennis 26th place
It was an epic day with big winds, tons of mud, a good crowd and enough water hazards to make Tiger Woods unhappy. The race was great with good organization, I highly recommend this race as it was truly a blast..... and above all it was fun.
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