April 10, 2017 at 11:05 am #3542
Alright, wow. What a day! Steaming Nostril 2017 went off without a hitch in St. Jacob’s yesterday. I thought the course was awesome, with a good mix of road and gravel, rail trail, and farm lane. The ending 5-6km after “The Longest Kilometre” was straight out of a Belgian Classic.
Just over 300 riders showed up to race the 65 km race, and SRCC had a GREAT showing of riders at our neighbour’s event, with a Cole’s Notes of the results below:
James F, 24th
James K, 41st
Mike D, 47th
Tim P, 71st
Rob N, 94th
Gord D, 120th
Ron F, 180th
Tim S, 241st
It was great to see so many club members and their families out, including many of the main people behind a few of our sponsoring businesses! So, let’s hear some race recaps! I’ll go first.
Stepping out of the car, I thought it was going to be a long sleeve/leg warmers kind of race. About 45 minutes before the scheduled start, the clouds blew out of the sky to reveal a clear, blue day, and the warm sun. Base layer, jersey, and some embro it was. After a too-short warm-up of practicing the first major corner a handful of times, I lined up in the second row and wiggled around to find my place at the start. After introducing past winners, the race was off up the grass incline and on to the road.
I bullied my way to the front, and soon had my 40x11T spun right out. Downhill, tailwind, in a group. We descended down the single-lane bridge into an acute turn; the marshals and police officers all screaming “SLOW DOWN!” as we hammered into it. A Mariposa rider evidently did not pre-ride this turn, as he fully locked up his rear wheel and went sideways – not cool.
We squeezed two-by onto the rail trail, and I settled in briefly to 8th-10th wheel as we hit the wooden walking bridge in St. Jacob’s. Getting to this bridge early was key to staying out of trouble, and not having to walk. We went through town, and the big guns lit up. The WOB riders/Tekne club guys got to work and the pace went through the roof. So, at about 7km in, I watched as the winners to-be rode away.
As I fell off the back of the lead 7-8 guys, I looked back and noticed that I was now at the front of a 25-30 man group. As we got out of town, the wind picked way up, and either nobody knew how to echelon, or nobody wanted to work, or both. A few impatient attacks went off the front of our group and were pulled back, until a group of 5 riders went together and broke away. Our ~20-man group, still working very poorly, sat in the wind looking at one another until Shimano Canada’s very own Charlie Bryer went up the road. The group of (now) 6 sat ahead of us by 15 seconds or so, and I was still over my head doing too much pulling in my group. “F it” I muttered, and bridged to the group of six when the wind seemed to die down. I settled in behind Charlie in the second group, only to realize that nobody was rotating here, either. Our group of seven was soon caught, and again we had 30 guys together and nobody cooperating.
And then we hit the rail trail. The group splintered, and myself and Chris Barson were alone trading pulls (him more than me) into that bloody headwind. Wow. That wind though. A few notables came and went, including Bruce Bird, who looked like he wasn’t even trying, and Derek Oosterveen, who ended up placing much better than both Chris and I. The rail trail was wet enough to be a pain, but not so wet as to make you hate your life. But where it lacked in wetness, it made up for in headwind. From the rail trail, it was 35km of pretty standard country, gravel roads. Chris and I found a group of 5 who rode together, but didn’t really rotate.
I fell off the back before the farmer’s field, which really wasn’t so bad and was very rideable, save for the hike-a-bike climb that gave me hamstring cramps I will never forget. From there it was farm lanes back to the Waterloo Rod and Gun Club, where I collapsed and then drank a beer, in that order.
All in all it was a great event, and I was glad to have such great company from our club members. If you’ve got an anecdote from the race, feel free to share it below!
April 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm #3550
Nice ride report. The photos I’ve seen looked a lot like running through the woods with a bike.
April 15, 2017 at 12:32 pm #3575
Funny and informative ride report, James. Keep ’em coming. Maybe you can write about suntanning at GFRR. 🙂 I was doing the same, actually busting my butt for 31st place. I’ll bet Ben could write an exciting one – 2nd place in the Senior 1 category right behind his new teammate and former club member, Anton. That was impressive. Ben has become a monster. Maybe we had something to do with that!
April 17, 2017 at 8:45 am #3581
Thanks Andy! GFRR was a whole different story… What a gongshow. I had juniors bouncing off me seemingly all race. Two crashes happened directly in front of me, and I ended up being the first guy in the group to not go down on the second one. Everyone behind me/the crash was done for the day (placing-wise). The effort that I put in to chase back on to the main pack was probably one that would have helped me contend for a podium spot. But hey! That’s road racing, from what I gather 🙂
Ben and Anton put on a clinic. I saw them at the right-hander heading back out on to the course after the gravel for a few laps, and Ben was so fired up. It was a blast to watch. They came through the second lap, and when most roadies would yell something to keep the group working together, he just says “well look at that, we got a nice lil’ gap going boys!!!”. It was priceless. Very stoked for them. Good first race of the year, Andy!
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