Baie St. Paul was a very tough course; it wasn't so technical that I was worried about any particular section, but the entire course was either uphill or downhill (nothing flat), and it was all very gnarly rooty, rocky. A super fun course that keeps you on your toes, but if you falter and lose focus - it was very hard to regain your momentum. The day was above 30 degrees and we were racing at 3:15, which is almost 2 hours later than my usual races.
The following is a video of basically the same course a few years ago, flip through it to see some of what we ride!
I honestly fell off the pace right from the start, unable to keep the pace going even in the uphill single track, I tried to push the negative thoughts out of my head, thinking that surely nobody could keep this pace in this weather on this course; unfortunately I don't think that I could either. It became a game of attrition, just trying to keep grinding at it until other riders wore down to the point that I could catch them. I was confused about where I was on course, messing up my lines through the technical sections, and even so weak that I couldn't shift my gears at points! But I finished. There was only 1 finisher behind me, but 5 guys didn't finish (that's a pretty large amount for the pro field in a Canada Cup that we all traveled a long way to get to), so I'm proud of just finishing given my health and recent setbacks!
|Trying to maintain composure in this race was tough (thanks Scott Lynch for the photo)|
|My buddy Dylan and I were making bets on these guys - I could totally be a bookie|
|Not my usual worn out race face :)|
|Our site at Mt. St. Anne was right by the trails (thanks Scott for the photo again)|
Road tripping through the Quebec countryside has been fun, I'm bilingual so it's nice to have a chance to practice my french, and now we're in St-Félicien, Nationals is in two days, and I'm hoping to have my fitness back to how it was before my back disk/nerve issues. I'm loving the courses in Quebec, and the break from university, so good results would just be a bonus I guess!
|Road tripping through Quebec and watching out for the bears that we saw|
|Some of the coldest water I've swam in in the summer (Scott Lynch photo)|
|On hot days, I don't discriminate where I get my water (Scott Lynch photo)|