Kelly and I headed over to Laurier Station (near Quebec City) for a weekend of cross racing, Saturday was Provincial Championships, and a second race on Sunday would be part of the Quebec provincial series. The course on Saturday was perfectly flat, and very tight, narrow, twisty and a few questionable corners would make for a challenging course to say the least (We had a few choice words to add to the description but I wont post them here in case any kids are reading :)
Kelly had a rough go, as the course didn't suit her well. She was feeling a bit under the weather, so that didn't help much. The Elite Men went at 12.30 and the we (the MA's) went off 30 seconds later. I had excellent start, and got the holeshot which was key as the start was a 75m straight into an "s" bent narrowing. Halfway into the first lap Luc Proulx - Xprezo (4 time prov. champ, former National Champ) caught up to me and the two of us would ride away from the group, exchanging the lead for a few laps. On lap two, my front brake cable slipped, and this would leave me brakeless in the front for the rest of the race. Kelly said this would make me faster, I was more worried about controlling the bike in the corners! Luc was riding strong, and I was fearing my chances were going to slip away (no pun intended).
Halfway through the race, I was really into a rhytm and started to put a small gap into Luc, and would then continue to gain a few seconds each lap, evetually nicely taking the win by about a minute 40! The race would turn out to be a really strong ride, and an awesome win, despite no front brake! Also really awesome to win a provincial championship, and get a nice new blue and white jersey to go along
Sunday was pretty much the same course, only run in reverse, with a few modifications to widen some spots, and even make the course a bit faster. Kelly had a bit better day than Saturday, improving a few spots finishing 4th in the women's race! The afternoon race would be bunched together (Elite and MA's single start), with a more open start lane and course, but a small slip up on the start would put me a few spots back and chasing a bit more. By the end of the first lap Eric Lemaire (Taxi Mode) and I would respectively be chasing for 5th and 6th overall (1st and 2nd Master). By lap three we'd move up a few spots, and both be insid the top 5 (overall). nearing the end of lap three Eric thought he flatted, and let me around, I was anticipating him to pull into the pits, but he stayed right on my wheel for the next three of four laps. It would turn out everything was fine, and no flat tires, so we soldiered on! In front of us were three Elites, Benoit Simard (bluberi) Ugo Lapierre (2peers.com) and Marc Andre Daigle. I spent most of the race about 15-20seconds behind Ugo, and unable to bridge the gap. Eric would be about the same behind me, with 3 laps to go, where Eric seemed to be dropping a bit back. Two laps to go I tried one more time to brigde to Ugo, this would also put a big gap on Eric. Ugo had Marc-Andre in his sights, and kept his lead on me solid right to the end.
On the final lap, Ugo and I both caugth and passed a struggling Marc Andre, he'd gone off the start really hard, and blew up nearing the end, after passing him a third of the way through the final lap, it would put me in third overall for the race. Another solid day, a second win in as many days, (and what would have been third in the Elite race) is deifinately a career highlight!
Moreso, I'm really happy to have won a provincial championship, that's been a big goal for a long time, so it's kind of a nice feeling to scratch that one off the list. Looking forward to defending next year, and hopefully maybe going after some even bigger races!
Next week, finally a race close to home! Mooney's Bay, Eastern Ontario series, maybe I'll wear the new jersey for kicks!
oh and still waiting for pics from the weekend, as we didn't have our camera.. hope to find some soon.