If you are like me and you need a continuous thrill you probably find road riding in Southern Ontario a little dull. However, if you’re even more like me, you know that one way to make a ride sick is to rip city streets as fast as possible, slay bike paths with expert precision and do the occasional nose manual. Well my friends, Race the Place had all of that.
Located in beautiful downtown Toronto is the abandoned grounds of Ontario Place. On the 3rd of October we lit it up with a urban crit. The course had everything from bridges, bike paths, hairpins, berms, cobbles and even a cave. Oh and did I mention we raced during a hurricane. Literally, one of the raddest times I’ve had on a road bike.
For the race we needed to qualify. Heats were determined, top three would move on. There was a last chance qualifier for forth and fifth place, but I need not worry about that. My heat was quick and simple. Three man breakaway, quick to establish and quick to gain a gap. Easy ride after that – only 400 watts to move forward in the wind. A quick two laps was all that was required for qualifying.
The finals were more of a crit format. Approximately 40 riders would race for 40 minutes + 3 laps. The race would be just under an hour. What were my thoughts? Go from the gun – pavement CX race, roadie power, MTB handling skills – what could go wrong with that? Not much. My qualification buddy, Cam McPhaden, broke away almost instantly. The wind would take the toll on our legs but I was sure that we could travel faster than the pack through the technical sections. I was right. After only a few laps we gained a substantial lead and never looked back. By the time the finish came around we had 2 minutes on the fields. A quick sprint and I would claim victory!
My Norco Tactic was a sturdy stead. With my C50s and tubulars at 75 psi, traction and stiffness wasn’t an issue. That being said, I did clip my pedal on a turn but stayed up. Good day at the office!
…Yes I grew my facial hair out to keep me warm…No it is not aerodynamic
Photo credit: RedBull Canada