And so the exciting 2009 season comes to an end. And what a finish! Today's race was intense stuff. Started my warm up feeling a little out of sorts but figured it was in part due to all the time off the bike to let my shoulder heal up from the last race.
Mom and dad came out today to help in the feedzone and cheer me on. Always always always appreciated. You guys are the best. So I met with them and handed over my bottles and then it was time to line up. Dad switched my warmup bottle for my first lap bottle (felt like the pit at a grand prix!), mom gave me a hug and took my ipod (and my gel wrapper) and then into the start gates I go.
11 of us came out today. Four of our top riders are in Australia at the moment for the World Championships to be held next weekend so be sure to check their progress! A little smaller than usual, the field got some last minute instructions from the commissaire and then we were off!
My first lap I felt ungood (I don't care what you think about that word). The course begins with a three part climb up the ski hill that takes about 6 minutes to clear, your heart beating in your ears at max power the entire time. When I got to the top, I was hot and cold at the same time and seeing stars. Bad wiring or something. But I somehow avoided a short circuit and by the time the second lap came around, I had found a comfortable groove.
Lap two I began what became the most exciting three laps of my life! Back and forth I went with Celine. On the climbs, I'd get around her, gap her on the flats only to have her reappear in the singletrack where traffic got us all bunched up. Then we'd repeat the process. On lap three, Tricia joined in our little game. We three finished within 30 seconds of each other and although I'd done a lot of leading, my timing was unfortunately a little off and it was Tricia, Celine and then me over the line. We had a good hand shake over that one. Good stuff!!
Because I was so busy all the time, I know I didn't drink or eat very well -- all the places where I could get away one-handed seemed to come up when I had some work/passing to do. Thank goodness the weather was cool today so I got away with limited hydration.
The course was great, super fun, and I managed to complete the race with only some minor calamities on the first lap (you know: a mistake here, a tree there). Even the weather held which is a first in the 2009 Ontario Cup series I think. Better late than never!
Once I was finished, we hung around to see what the overall results were. I knew I was in the running going in but didn't do the math to see what result I'd need to move up (I did that on purpose to avoid obsessing over arithmatic). I could see my dad was getting all Ocupped out so I suggested we just go but my mom said we'd stay and wait to find out. Thank goodness she was there! I would have missed my big moment! Collecting one last bit of prize money and standing up on the podium with the other top five Elites. So it was a great end to a great day. I came into the season ranked 11th (hence my super sweet number plate: 111) and i'm going out 5th. Don't worry, I patted myself on the back.
Thus marks the end of my race season. Usually at season's endI'm all too happy to put the bike away for a month of mental/physical relaxation, but this year I do feel a little bit sad. It was a great season -- my best ever. I got up on the podium more times than in the rest of my career combined; I rode in the east and even in the west; went for big goals -- some achieved, some to wait til next year.
What's next? Not Cyclocross, I can tell you that ;)
G and I are going to take a little breather up on the north of Superior ... so all's quiet on the blog front til we get back I suspect. Thanks for tuning in!