British Columbia Superweek
BC (British Columbia) Superweek is an 11 day racing series with a heavy focus on criterium racing. There is one UCI road race on day 3 (Tour de Delta) and day 11 is another (Tour de White Rock) with a 700m uphill TT thrown in on day 9. The rest? Well, they’re criteriums. A side note: why English speaking Canadians insist on “de” instead of “of”, I don’t know. Still, the racing is brilliant.
Crit racing is hard! I am not known for my ferocious sprint so I am exceptionally limited in my ability to perform in criteriums. My best bet is to attack and be in a small group that goes to the finish – a tactic that I’ve yet to perfect in the USA. A lot has to be said for knowing the race, and the people in it but, frustratingl, as of yet it just hasn’t panned out.
One of the crits on offer in BC is the Gastown GP. It’s the biggest money crit in North America with the prize purse being $120,000. $13,000 of that is up for grabs in the victory alone. That’s a big pay day and to cut a long story readably short, we didn’t win it. The course is a triangle with a hairpin corner at the top of the loop. There were 50 laps. That’s 50 times risking your career into that corner as 150 guys try out breaking each other into that hairpin to exit the it in the front and therefore escape the accordion effect. My career was risked approx. 20 times. I figured I was doing the same the next 30 times, but on reflection I think I found my limit of risk and backed out subconsciously. You might ask why, based on the prize money on offer…I do too. Honestly, I am still learning how to ride crits. It might look like road racing on a shorter lap but I assure you it’s a huge and much different skill. I’ll get it soon.
The final weekend was far better than my first weekend when I was sick. The hill climb was the highlight and it was basically my perfect hill (700m @ 16% gradient). More than frustratingly I was 7th. I started easily and went to go full gas a few times before I actually committed and went for it. I did break my 1min power record though – 745w for 60 seconds @ 66kgs. That one is mine if I make it there next year, I may well do to settle demons. If your heart desires, here is the power file, you’ll be able to see the peaks of indecision!
Short but exciting effort - is this a new Le Sportif route?
Next up is, well, let’s call it a “training camp” in Milwaukee before a 5 week European trip with the rest of my team. It’s a “training camp” because I will have to train, a lot. But there may be more to it than that, watch this space…