BC Masters B Championships
This was my third attempt at trying to bring home gold for the 40-49 category in the road race, and with nationals on the west coast it was the strongest field yet vying for the win. 45 starters lined up just behind the elite field on a scorcher of an afternoon, with 12 Pender riders, 6 LB, 4 Procity and Glotman, and a gaggle of others with me as the only Wheeler. Being alone I figured to just mark the main contenders and see what happened as I know I would have to make quick decisions about going or not going with various moves. The first half of the race was littered with attacks and captures, with a move finally solidifying about an hour in. It had 8 guys but with the temp so high and my main marks still in the feild with me I kept waiting. The gap was 25s and with no one wanting to take up the chase, I took a chance, throttled up and tried to create some kind of chase. Lots of riders willing to sit on my wheel, but no one wanted to see the wind. So, I retreated and waited for the steepest climb to try again. So, as we reached the climb I went all in up the hill, dragging eventual winner Chris Worsfold with me along with a couple of others. We bridged just pretty quick, but Pender wasn't letting anyone else go, so it really just ended up resetting the race as shortly we were group compacto. The next couple of laps I sat patiently with my marks watching for danger but it didn't really happen. The group moved quickly (40.5 kph for the day) which discouraged breaks. Towards the end of lap three I was forwarned about attacks coming after the feed, so moved to the front up the hill, wanting to get my bottle and be ready for action. What happened next was completely unexpected. Moments before I was to grab my bottle an LB rider rode past my better half Laura and knocked that liquid gold out of her hand onto the road. I was shocked and in the moment could only think to stop and retrieve it. Laura quickly ran and grabbed it, passed it on and some other feed zone volunteer gave me a quick push...but the damage was done. I was off the bunch by 50m and losing ground quickly. I panicked a bit and probably dug too deep, chasing back on pretty quick but consuming most of the matches I had left. I found the LB culprit and unloaded a pretty decent tirade, but I knew to well the damage was done. Not only had I gassed myself, but the attack had happened and there was now a break up the road with a whopping 55s lead. Race over for the second time I resigned to finishing, stewing about the WTF moment in the feed zone. The last couple of laps were very hard, and strangely enough the break's cooperation disintegrated and they came back with about 5km to go. I couldn't believe it and I tried to mentally reset for a surge at the line, but it wasn't to be. A confusing last 3 km where we caught the masters A race, but were neutralised until the last corner? I moved to the front but had zero jam for the finish, fighting cramps the last 500m to the line for another disappointing finish in this event, just outside the top 10 in 11th. It was a lesson in focus and perserverance, and I guess I'll take it as a compliment that others felt the need to not race as gentlemen, like we do. On to Bob Cam.
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