Aug 24, 2014
Last weekend, I travelled to the picturesque Muskoka region to enter the Lake of Bays Road Race. The course was a hilly 94 km and included some gravel action. I came away with the 1st place in the Masters A&B Category, my first ever win!
|Sunday morning, the weather was perfect (much, much better than the previous year by all accounts). I had re-conned the course the previous day and my plan was to conserve as much energy as possible during the race so I could attack on the 8-km finish leg, which featured several climbs. I sat in at the back of the peloton and kept an eye on Elite 3 rider Thea Mizuhara from Lapdogs Cycling Club. I had a hunch she was going to attack at some point and thought I would like to be on a breakaway with her.
About 70 km in, Thea smoothly made her way from the back to the front of the peloton and sat quietly there for a few moments. I had a pretty good idea of what might happen next so I moved up carefully, trying to avoid raising suspicion. By the time I had reached the front, she was already a short distance from the peloton, casually sneaking away. I jumped, sprinting as fast as I could to bridge the gap. I glanced back after a few seconds, hoping I had not dragged the whole pack with me. To my surprise and amazement, we seemed to be getting away. As I began to close in on her, I shouted to her to GO! She turned the power on and we were gone! We stayed away for 3-4 kms, trading wheels every few hundred meters. However we had already lost some ground when came a uphill mud patch covered with loose gravel. My rear wheel lost traction and I slowed right down. We were caught. I thought how ironic for a Wheeler to meet her demise at the hand of a gravel patch.
Back inside the head peloton, I focused on recovering, thinking I might still be able to carry on my initial plan of attacking in the final climbs. With 15 km to go, I had to slow down abruptly while going up a hill. I must have been in the middle of shifting because my chain dropped when I stood on the pedals again. I pulled out of the way and fixed my chain as the peloton gradually moved out of sight. This was not part of the plan, but thankfully, those girls were all Elite 3’s and Juniors and I was still ahead in my own race.
The Lake of Bays Road Race organisers, hosts and volunteers all did a fantastic job and I thank them for making this event possible and the great success it was.
As this may well have been my last race this season, I would also like to reiterate my gratitude to the West of Quebec Wheelers for your support and contribution in making my first racing season a highly positive and enjoyable experience!