Grand Prix IGA Ste-Martine Race Report
Here’s a short recap from my race at the Grand Prix IGA Ste-Martine, on April 27, 2014.
For this race, all the women’s divisions were combined at the start line, and riding alongside the Elite teams felt somewhat surreal at first. The pace was high from the outset, with several attacks already taking place early in the first lap. I fought to keep my position near the front and out of wind, and jumped several times to catch riders that were trying to get away. In the second lap, the attacks were routinely followed by counter?attacks, which made it hard to recover. I became expected to pull at some point and did so for a short while. Meanwhile, there were a lot of riders still sitting behind, and I knew the race hadn’t even started yet.
In the third lap, the peloton split. I caught up to a rider, and after resting on her wheel for a few seconds, I passed her so she could do the same. Next thing I knew, there were a few of us now forming a small group. A few Kilometers later, we were down to four with the main peloton still in sight. One of the girls said “Come on let’s catch them”, and that’s when we really began to get organized and look after each other. We never caught up to the main peloton, but we echeloned our way to the finish line through two more laps. I came in fourth, just missing the podium, and was very happy about my race, especially the first half of it! I think this road race gave me a good taste of what’s ahead this season, and it won’t be easy!
Additional Comments From our Race Director, Rick Bourgeault
Well this being Catherine’s second race it was important to keep things simple. Like most races for any racer my instructions to Catherine were to stay near the front and always try to find the center. This would keep her out of danger, keep her speed at a constant level and being centered would keep her sheltered from the wind. Ste Martine is always windy and this day was no different with strong steady 20 Km/h head winds!
Staging for the race Catherine was ready, positioned in the middle of the group and a bit nervous but eager.
So I was happy to see Catherine come by during the second lap in eighth position! Right where she should be. She continued to stay out of trouble until after the 4th of 6 laps. As I suspected the Elite women started to push the pace and I knew it would be difficult for Catherine to counter moves made by the Elite teams.
In the end I was very happy to see Catherine do so well in such a difficult race this early in the season! The final numbers and results don’t always tell the whole story! Catherine has listened carefully, and she has made great strides in such a short period of time. Congratulations Catherine on your performance in a very difficult race!
I think as race director I was most pleased after the race to see that other women, Elite women riding with her in the race came up to me to ask “Who was that new Wheeler?” I could not think of a better way to end such a difficult race day as her peers complimented to me how impressive Catherine looked during the race. It was a source of great pride to me and the ladies were blown away when I told them that this was indeed Catherine’s second race ever as a Master 1! The Wheelers should be proud of her efforts as a Wheeler and the traditions of strength, honour, courage and grace in her pursuit of excellence!
Rick (Rico) Bourgeault
West of Quebec Wheelers