Round 1 of the Ontario-cup road season kicked off at the Calabogie Motorsports Park on April 13th. Despite the threatening rain clouds, cold wind and the snowbanks lining the course, the race track was fast and perfectly banked for pedaling through every one of its 23 corners.
Three Stevens-The Cyclery racers were present: Amelie Bruneau, Carrie Cartmill and Emily Flynn. Ariane Bonhomme stepped in as assistant coach with Jenny Trew and Chris Reid as team directors.
The race started off fast and within the first few laps I found myself up the road for several laps with three other racers. The peloton reeled us in and Amelie and Emily took turns attacking and counter-attacking with perfect timing. All three of us were pretty tired when our two main competing teams each sent a rider up the road. The distance to the two of them started to increase pretty quickly and I knew it was my turn to dig deep…. and I bridged the gap (not an easy feat since they were really pushing the pace).
Once the gap had grown to a safe distance and the excitement of being in a break settled in, I was reminded of our DS’s advice: “the first (or second) break up the road doesn’t have to be the one that sticks.” And so I gave some thought to who I was riding with and who I had behind me: did I really want to go to the line with two of the better sprinters in the field when my own sprinter (with super-fast legs) was back in the field?
I let up on the gas a bit and paid the consequence of having the other two team-up and repeatedly attempt to drop me.
And I was right – I was not the strongest sprinter of my trio – at least not today! I managed to hold on for second place, but will have to save the victory for a later race.
All around, it was a fun and positive day of racing and a great way to kick off the season!
— Carrie Cartmill