Alberta Cup #3 Deadgoat Summer Solstice Race Report

Round 3 of the Alberta Cup went this past Saturday at Canada Olympic Park as the Deadgoats hosted the Summer Solstice Race (traditionally this race has been held mid to late June – thus the name).  Once again the Elite Men’s field had quite the firepower with the likes of Lega, Gabor, Bunnin, Stappler, Vine, et al. lined up ready to pin it.

Gabor, myself, & the rest of the Elite Men on the line.

Another good start for me as I settled into a top 3 position for the first half lap.  Going into the race blind (not pre-riding) I wanted to set on a couple of wheels in order to stay on course…but of course, when the legs feel good you want to open it up and I took up the lead mid way thru the opening lap.  Unfortunately, this didn’t go to plan as Ise  rode slightly off course.  Only Stappler went by me, but I was a little bit flustered and burned a bit of energy getting back on course.  On the next headwind climb (there were multiple headwind climbing sections!) Bunnin attacked the group and only Stappler could respond.  I settled into a battle for 3rd through 5th, with Gabor & Vine.

Weapon of Choice for COP – Note the Pink Grips in Honor of Ryder

The course at COP was full of tight tree lined turns, and on one said turn in particular I leaned it over a wee too much and snagged my skinsuit on my shoulder and sredded it, and my baselayer underneath wide open.  ARRHH!

My second of 5 laps was my worst, I feel like I lost my focus and was not riding ‘smooth like Lega’, plus I was slightly annoyed at my tattered race kit, but luckily I was able to get into the groove, recover from the opening lap effort and settle into a nice pace.

Me leading Mike Vine thru the feedzone

After Gabor decided he didn’t want to race Vine & I for 3rd, dropping us in his pursuit of Stappler in 2nd, Mike and I battled it out for a couple of laps.  Eventually, I caught Vine near the end of the penultimate lap and pulled away on the last loop to solidify my 4th place on the day.

At the finish

Considering the fact that I was hit by a car this past Wednesday, I’m quite happy with my 4th, just off the podium.  I’m glad I was able to recompose myself after a poor 2nd lap, and I stayed strong for the rest of the race.

It was my first bike meet aboard my Superfly, and it felt great once I got the feel of it.  22.3lbs with a power meter is especially nice on the climbs.  Speaking of powermeters, I have the Power2Max system mounted to a Rotor 3D crank that I am testing.  So far I’m really impressed.  It was super easy to set up and seems to work quite well without much of a weight penalty.  Here is my data from the race:

Next week I’ll be sitting out the Kananaskis Kicker as the Edmonton Corporate Challenge is on Saturday (which I’m helping Kirk organize) so the next time I line up will be in two weeks time at the Iron Maiden in Canmore…can’t wait.

See you on the trails!


The Royal River Valley Rumble: Revenge of the Gnome Race Report

This past Saturday was the 1st Alberta Cup race of the year for me (since I was in Ottawa the previous weekend and missed the Lethbridge race) and I was super pumped to line up.  The RRVR course overlapped many of the trails that were part of my vision that made up the Edmonton Canada Cup course – a race that I never did get a chance to compete in.  When Dave Roberts told me that they wanted to host the Hardcore race down in the Kinsmen area I was a happy fella.

With some consistant attendance and results in the AB Cup series last year, I’m honoured to hold the #1 plate after finishing 1st by one point in the 2011 Alberta Cup series.  I’m stoked to have the #1 and plan to do my best to do it justice.

I can honestly say I feel like I’ve never been this fit this time a year before in my racing tenure, and my sans 20lbs frame should make for some fun racing for myself in 2012.

Most of the main guys were lined up today (with the exception of some fast Cowtown riders) and the firepower in the field promised a close race.

6.5 laps were on tap, and we went off with a bag.  Pleasing to me, I instantly clipped into my pedal after the ‘startle start’ and pushed my way to 2nd wheel behind Krann.  He must have really wanted that beer prime for the prologue (1/2) lap as he hammered out an insane pace.

Once we passed through the feedzone, I took up the pacemaking and turned the throttle to full and kept it pinned there for as long as I could.  I stood over the tops of most of the short punchy climbs and did my best to keep the pressure on my competitors.

Leading Cam into the Gnome Trail

I have to admit I had a little emotional moment out on course.  About lap 3, while still leading the race, throttle wide open, and riding ‘smooth like Lega’ through the Gnome Trail I reflected back to 2009 when I started cutting this same trail for the Canada Cup, hobbling along with my broken kneecap but not a broken spirit, unsure if I’d ever race my MTB again.  And here I was that day, 2.5 years later, leading the Elite men in an Alberta Cup.

Westcoast Trail was a tough climb up

Turns out I could hold it wide open for about 4.5 laps as I stayed in the front, pinned for that long.  Old man Vine (Mike turned 39 the day before the race) caught me about half way through the 4th full lap, and gassed it up the deceivingly steep backside climb by the Old Timers Cabin.  I tried my best to match his pace but it was to no avail.

The gaps between riders were so small, that I didn’t want to loose any time to stop and grab a bottle out of my cooler (as I didn’t manage to find someone to feed).  In hindsight, I clearly didn’t drink enough, and on the last climb of the last lap, Gabor in typical monster fashion, roared by me up the road climb to grab 2nd.  I stayed on my own pace and was happy to take a well earned 3rd.

Happy to share the podium with these guys

Thanks to Gord Brenner for the awesome photos of the day.

So the first AB Cup race of 2012 in the books.  Learned a lot about myself and I’m excited to do it all over again next weekend at Canada Olympic Park.

See you at the Races,


Spring Training

The Alberta MTB race season is almost upon us and I’ve had the best spring of bike practice that I’ve ever had during my tenure racing bikes.  Riding to and from work almost everyday has built up a solid base for me and I’m stoked to come into the 2012 season feeling like I have great legs.

When it was too cold outside to ride I was downstairs in my ‘fitness studio’

Sarnecki Fitness Studio

I definitely took advantage of some fair weather while visiting in SE Calgary

Early Spring Riding

Those are mountains.

Unfortunately I’ll be a no show for the 1st Alberta Cup of the season down in Lethbridge, AB. as I am jet-setting off to Ottawa for a Canadian Cycling Association board meeting.  But I plan to be bringing a full gas effort to the Royal River Valley Rumble later this month.  I am super amp’d to race this event since the course is on most of the Edmonton Canada Cup trails, and even though the Canada Cup has been organized since 2009, I never did get an opportunity to race ‘my vision’.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Time to head out and attempt the first Calmar Donut ride of the season.  The Calmar bakery has the best donuts – but they are closed on Sundays and literally close up shop when they run out of baked goods.  I haven’t been able to pull off the donut ride as of yet, but today is the perfect day to make another attempt.

How many kms do I have to ride to burn off a donut?