Nationals and Jim Horner Weekend

Posted: 12 October 2009 in Uncategorized
Hey again Everyone!!!
So the weekend started off pretty good when I picked up Mike Garrigan and his friend Mike from the airport, and made sure he had some nice accomodations at my folks place for the weekend.  We were able to head out on Friday to go and pre-ride the course, although earlier in the week it really seemed like it would be another bone dry Nationals, until the severe weather warning for Edmonton came on the weather network talking about the arctic weather that was about to roll into town from the north.  I thought nothing of it, then Bam, Lots (for this time of year) of snow, and below zero all day temperatures.  First time outside for a ride was Friday to pre-ride the course.  Thanks Don Fox for putting on another GREAT nationals and Jim horner event, and the course this year was quite outstanding!
Along with the conditions of freezing temperatures and a whole cool amount of snow in October, the course itself was super cool.  It started off similar to last year with a whole bunch of crit style corners on the flats including Alberta’s first ever ‘fly over’ which was finished about 10 minutes prior to the ‘pre-ride’ time and made some cool amount of noise when being ridden over.  Allowed for me to judge just how far people were behind or infront of me without actually looking (tip for those who might be interested…)  Then it cornered some more before jumping almost immediately into the bowl (similar to last year) only once you got back from the first jaunt accross the bowl, you stayed over there with one short punch up the hill again, before a super fast descent back to the ‘home’ side.  A few more corners and then into the infamous ride/run-up with some super cool off cambre 180 deg turn right after the steep bit.  It was super cool, and this is where most of the spectators were actually watching from.  I think there were sooo many spectators there on the Nationals day that my ears are still ringing from it!  it then jumped back onto the flying fast road section which was super fun before heading right into the sand pit.  It was a pretty deep sand pit, and not the kind you really want to try and ride because you don’t really get anywhere before stopping.  Then back through some more corners before hitting the very fast run in to the finish.  I felt super strong on the roll through the ‘bowl’ and not so strong through the crit style corners on the top, although most times heading into the bowl I wouldn’t stress things too much as I could normally get back after a few corners in the bowl.
After almost the whole weekend of trying to Chase down Kabush and St.John, I managed to work away at the podium spots to come away with my very first podium at a National Championships, and ditto for a UCI race after besting my first day’s performance to get 2nd!  I am not going to lie, the adverse conditions suited me quite well!  The ‘home town’ crowd didn’t hut either as a few times through the bowl, spectators were chanting my name!  It was very cool to hear that, but it also made me think about not wanting to let everyone down, so I had to push an extra gear just because. 
Thanks to everyone who came out to cheer for all us athlete in the blistering cold this weekend, some of whom are still hanging out at home with the heat cranked and the hot tea a brewin!!!  it was definitely a True Canadian Championship I have to say!!!
Next up, Toronto NACT and Kentucky USGP!

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