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2009-05-24 - BC Cup #1 Race Day

Today started earlier than yesterday. I was at the bottom of the course for 7:45pm, and on the first shuttle up the hill at 8am on the dot. Props to the organizers for getting shuttles underway exactly when advertised.

Practice run #1 was smooth and fast and I nailed all my lines. I worked on shifting points, and nailed those perfectly. There isn't much shifting on the Ned's course, but grabbing pedal strokes and ensuring you're in the right gear is tricky.

Practice run #2 was more of the same, but I was struggling with the light. The angle of the sun made for server sun spots on the trail, and I missed the turn in points for a few of my lines.

Practice run #3 was excellent and while the light was still difficult to deal with I nailed all my lines. I knew the light would be more like yesterday's practice since my race time was scheduled at 4:40pm. I decided to try a 2.35" Excavator on the rear for this practice run as I felt I didn't really need the size of the 2.5" on the rear. I liked the smaller rear tire on the trail because it did roll better, so I figured I'd leave it on for the race. Once practice was over I was happy with my line selection and speed through each of the sections on the course.

Rob, Justin, Cam and I drove up to the top of the course WAY too early, and had about an hour and a half at the top of Ned's. I hiked down a bit and bumped into Dave Mackie, where I sat and watched the action for a good long while. I was surprised at the number of crashes and incidents good riders were having at the very top of the course. I was starting to wonder if I shouldn't be a little more conservative on my run. I hiked back up and got ready for my run. One by one the riders descended the course and slowly the number of riders at the top of the course reduced until there was only me. I thanked the volunteers for their time, check that the chain is on second gear, helmet on, chin strap done up, 30 seconds, breathe, 15 seconds, goggles on, 10 seconds, breathe, 5 seconds, clip in, and we're off. The next 2 minutes and 45 seconds were very short and very exciting. The bike bogged down over the roots where Dave was taking pictures, I told myself to relax and be smooth. I hit all my lines really well, and carried good speed through all the sections. I descended into the root gap hauling, I remember how good the bike felt coming down that rocky pitch, the suspension eating all the rocks in the trail. I lined up for the root gap and got tossed way further right than I intended. I'm not sure why but I landed on one foot and on the seat, I managed to save the rather messy situation, got my foot back on the pedal, and had to pinch off the following right turn a little. Relax. The rest of the course went near perfect.

The rooty section that I botched in my race run. Photo by: Dave Mackie
Just after the rooty section. Photo by: Dave Mackie
A write-up of the event on NSMB.com
A write-up of the event by Jerry Willows
A write of the event by Jeff Bryson
Results of the BC Cup #1 North Shore Bike Fest

Once the dust settled I came 4th of 16 Elites. Tyler Morland took the top spot 4 seconds ahead of 2nd place Jeff Bryson and 3rd place Adriano. I was 5 seconds back, with Tyler Gorz another second back of my time. This year is looking to be a fun one with lots of fast guys and all really close. Big props to the organizers Dan, Sharon and James for bringing racing to Vancouver. The event was a ton of fun and given the logistical nightmare turned out really well. Everyone I talked to had a smile on their face and enjoyed the event.

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