Ouch, what happened to Java Blend Racing the A race?
In my experience Java Blend riders sometimes pull out once they can do no more work for their protected riders and fall off the back. Edward Walsh and (secondly?) Armand Caron must have been their protected riders as they are competing for Canada Games entry, and before this race were on the bubble (5th and 7th in CG rankings, respectively, top 5 make the team). Jared Dempsey was also competing for CG entry but he was very close to mathematical elimination anyway.
Here’s my estimation of the CG road pts following Riverport:
Ryan MacDonald 30
Andrew L’Esperance 22 (*unless he raced an exemption race this past weekend)
Dennis Cottreau 22
Tyler D’Arcy 18
Mitchell MacDonald 18
– end of selected road team (MY calculation only, totally unofficial) –
Edward Walsh 13 --> CG alternate
Armand Caron 8
Brandon Curry 6
Jared Dempsey 4
Lucas MacCullough 3
My analysis is Java Blend was partially successful in that it looks like they earned alternate status for Edward Walsh but he didn’t make the top 5. Having said that, Edward is very young and probably can still qualify next time if he wishes.
Riverport Road Race Cat C Report (3 laps, 83km)
Cats C and F had a combined field of about 40 riders, by far the biggest field of the day. We rolled out at 12:10 PM. The O’Regan’s boys (and girl) did much of the work on the front (and positioning within the pack) for their protected rider, Colin Ward (16 years old!). I sat in trying to stay out of the wind. The Grimm Road climb didn’t prove as selective as I had anticipated, but I imagine a few riders fell off the back each time around.
Mike Avery put in a strong solo attack for the lap 1 prime.
Lap 2 featured a KOM at the top of Grimm Road hill, Mike Avery, Colin Ward, and Jay Watson went hard. I put in a hard chase and caught the 3 of them. We kept the pace high and Jay went off the back. Mike and Colin passed me easily after I stood to attack on the last little kick up so I got 3rd in the KOM (Colin won it) with a good gap to the field. I dug deep into the empty gas tank to attack on the downhill but the pack got back in pretty short order. Later on in lap 2 I found myself hung out to dry by the O’Regans boys along with a rider from Coastal Financial (Mark Cosman?). Mike Avery and Martin Willett (Pictou County Cycle) bridged up to us and we went on a hard attack with the four of us taking good turns (honestly, Mike’s were the strongest I am sure). We lasted for a few k (I was in the red, I couldn’t keep track of time nor distance) but it didn’t take long until the pack caught us. I didn’t contest the lap 2 prime and I don’t know who won it.
Lap 3 we stayed together for much of the lap, apart from a few short-lived flyers that never really got anywhere. We had a couple incidents in this lap. A deer ran across the road maybe 10-30 m in front of the pack. I was about 15th wheel so I couldn’t judge the distance very accurately. That was scary. As we approached the finish line, I made sure to stay close to the front of the pack to maximize my chances in the sprint and minimize the chance I got caught up in a crash. Maybe 500m from the line I heard a crash behind me, making me glad to have ridden toward the front. With 200m to go I found myself on the very front, obviously I made a big mistake not staying protected longer prior to contesting the sprint (it was into a head wind). I put on the gas but was passed in short order by 5 other riders (I am not a sprinter!). Once I saw clean air in front and behind I just kept up enough speed to lock up 6th. A third of the field came in together for the same time, 2:24 (about 34 km/h).
Mike Avery won, Norbert Zeh picked up 2nd, and Colin Ward rounded out the podium. Congratulations on a hard fought race.
Thank goodness, no one was seriously injured in the crash. A carbon Trek Madone frame was totalled. I hope the owner can salvage his Ultegra electric group set.
All in all a challenging race but not particularly suited to me. I had hoped the Grimm Road climb would be more selective, perhaps if O’Regans had put in a strong attack it could have been. But ultimately I didn’t attack on the last lap either, so I can’t really complain.
I improved in Cat C road standings to 4th.
Many thanks to organizer Al Heubech, commissaires and volunteers for a great race.