Which was a nice touch and a tip of the hat to a local guy who was only one of the greatest cyclists Canada ever produced. Steve himself was fully in attendance, running stuff and presenting prize vegetables at the podium ceremonies (the lead sponsor was a hydroponic farm company, prompting many to comment that the prize pack might have benefited from some other type hydroponic vegetation along with the admittedly gorgeous sweet peppers); and if he had a hand in changing the finish to the top of Effingham, I would add that he's not only a great cyclist, but also a sadistic bastard.
We also got some nice team results on this one, with Dan Donovan coming in 2nd and Mike Fawcett 11th in M3; Chris D was 27th in E4; Nat Wise got 5th in E3 Women (in her first race!) and Molly Mac got 19th.
|Dan gets 2nd (w/ manspreading from #1)|
Different day, same result (64th of 70).
As for me, I'd like to make excuses on this one and I have a few; like: I had a crappy night's sleep, there was a long delay to the start that killed my warm-up, and (yet again) I ended up starting too far back in the paddock, and so had the feeling that I was pretty much beat before it even started. That is exactly the feeling that beats you on a hill, and there were six climbs of Effingham on tap, so I was feeling the dread of the pre-beaten well before the horn went off to start this one. At least the neutral start really was a neutral start (unlike the lemming stampede of previous years), with everybody gathering at the foot of Effingham, wheeling neutrally up to the top, and then starting from there.
According to Strava, the climb on that neutral start was my second-fastest time up Effingham. Which is a good indicator of how the rest of it it went.
|Nat (left) receives the Ceremonial Vegetables|
|"C'mon. That's not a hill. That's a bump."|
But that damn climb...
OK I'm gonna do this bastard race one more time, next year. For my pride, if not for the vegetables.
And I'm gonna come prepared.