TransRockiesAugust 11, 2010
Man I had a pretty good time out in the Canadian Rockies the last 3-4 days, it's awesome when things go according to plan.
I arrived in Fernie Friday evening and met up with the Kona boys Kris and Barry, and went out for a killer meal at this place called Picnic. If you are ever in Fernie, I highly recommend it. We got out Saturday for an awesome DRY pre-ride of the time trial course, which took about 2.5 hours at a steady pace. It was some killer, and I mean killer single track, almost too much.
Day 1 - 31 km Time Trial Fernie, 1,300 meters climbing
I woke up to pouring rain and cold temps. I had not raced in mud or the cold all year! I did a nice little warm up and went off at 1:31 pm, 1 minute behind Adam Craig. My goal was to catch Adam on the big climb and stick with him on the technical single-track since he has a few skills. I didn't catch him where I had planned, but I did manage to find his wheel with about 10 km's of muddy slick ripper trail, Fernie is a awesome place. I was happy with the outcome taking the leaders jersey, putting a minute on Adam and over 5 minutes on Cory Wallace in third.
Day 2 - 72 km Fernie-Sparwood, 1,900 meters climbing
I had a horrible sleep for some reason, maybe since I went super hard, but I really didn't get any deep sleep, which sucked. At least it was not raining when I woke up, but the start was at 9 am. The stage started off with a huge climb up to the top of a pass. The first 20 km or so was dirt road, but the last 10 were rolling double-track then some really steep moist trail. I was not feeling great so I just did my best to stay with Adam and Cory. The downhill off the top of the mountain was insane, we lost about 5500 feet in about 4-5 km's. Luckily there was about 30 km of fast tail wind fire road up to the finish, so the 3 of us worked together with Cory sneaking away at the end to take a very deserving win. I was happy with the overall stage and felt better towards the end, which normally for me the next day should be a good one.
Day 3 - 65 km Elkford-Ethertington Creek, 2,000 meters climbing
First of all I had a great sleep, which is so important during a stage race. With clear skies we rolled out at 9 am for a big day in the saddle. The first 40 km's where rolling fire road, but pretty muddy so it was key to be at the front. I got my Canadian teammate Matt Hadley to set and nice high tempo. I felt really good, and managed to get a little gap with Cory leading into the single-track climb/hike-a-bike/mountain pass expedition. We made it over the top together, and started the long sketchy downhill down to the finish. There wasn't really a trail down the mountain so it was up to you to decide, and make your line was seriously rad. I lost Cory at some point so with a good cushion, I just cruised safely into the finish, taking the stage win and the overall along with some nice UCI points, which should come in handy. The Specialized Epic was absolutely flawless and thanks to Arran my mechanic each day.
I was pretty happy I decided to only do the 3 days of the race, because 7 days of that is HARD! I did it in 2008, and I remember what a painful experience it was. 3 days was the perfect number. I’m pretty excited to get home today to Victoria, and sharpen the knife up a little over the next weeks. The body feels great....
Thanks for your support,