All week, no rain - all sun. Finally a dry course? Wake up this morning, no sun, all rain. At least it was in Oromocto. Go figure.
However, a nice 1 hr drive south to Darling's Island (near St John) revealed the weather I've been waiting for all season. Dry.
Weather - 10 degrees, mix of sun and cloud.
Course Layout - First half: Tight and twisty with sections of deep mud with roots. Second half - wide open grass field with fast, wide corners.
Bike Setup - No real change - Vittoria Tubulars 26psi front, 28psi rear.
Today, my dad was there to watch. He was visiting from Ontario for the weekend, so the pressure was on to put on a good show.
The start - messed up a bit. Missed my pedal, but salvaged 10th spot or so going into the first bottleneck. Not to bad, but could have done better. I tried to ride thru the mud on the first lap, only to be passed by 3 or 4 riders who ran thru it instead. Lesson learned. I would run thru the mud every time thereafter. Much faster. The second half of the course was where my tubulars really shined. The grass was dry, but bumpy. The tires just sailed over it - allowing me to put power into the pedals instead of soaking up the bumps. I was also able to carry tons of speed into the corners. The course was wide - like 3 metres wide - so I could take different lines for different corners. Lots of fun clipping apexes and carrying momentum - telling myself not to touch the brakes. There were also some of camber sections that the tires really gripped to with the low pressures. Overall, the tires shined today. I was really happy with them.
I battled with another rider for the last 4 laps or so. We traded positions back and forth. On the last lap, he took off - I had nothing left, but I knew I had tons of room behind me, so I more or less coasted to the finish line.
I finished 7th. Very very happy - best result of the season. The "Belgian" glue job is holding up very very nicely. No signs of rolling or failure yet. The Boyd rims are also holding up very nicely. The rear has a slight wobble - 2mm or so - nothing a few turns of the spoke wrench won't solve. I have taken some big hits to that rim - so given the circumstance, I'd consider them bulletproof thus far.
Overall, great day. About 60 riders which is great. Many thanks to Dean and group for organizing a great race. The cider was yummy. And I won a door prize :) Now 2 for 4.......
One a side note, more UCI world cup today. Apparently JPOW had a horrible day - crashed out at the beginning, then DNF's with a broken rear hangar. Sucks....
Here's the last lap of that UCI Race