Dry Mud, the Ice Age, and a Shampoo Bottle – Paris Ancaster 2013

Posted: 24 April 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s been pretty non-stop since I left a week and a half ago for Paris Ancaster. Once again, the P2A event has provided non-stop entertainment and an incredible event to attend and even though they had to cut out lots of the really cool sections of the course, it was still just as fun as the first year I showed up.

On Saturday I ran my School of Cross clinic where we went through the basics of cyclocross before previewing the final 5 km’s of the course. We got a bit muddy, but luckily we scared off the rain as well as any crashes on the mud chutes. Thanks to Norco for providing the handouts which made for some fun competitions to get the riders prepped and ready for race day!

Go Time:

I was pretty pumped to chat it up with Jon Page in the first 10 k, until everyone got so antzy that it was impossible to stay directly beside someone and hold down a conversation. I was also pumped to hear of his Fuji signing for the next 3 years! After the first gravel section where the real gaps happened the year before things were still relatively together, so we just kept the pace decent until the next real off road section when the slinky broke and the true race started. It was Lindine, Garrigan, Page and myself which was a really good mix of guys to put start putting the hammer down. Although shortly after that we went through a really boggy field section and Page and myself (both of knobbier tires) ended up lagging behind the two leaders (who were both on file treads). Only due to a miracle did I end up catching back on as I was able to find the sweet spot on the road that was packed down a bit more than the rest. Page was edjected. As the week leading into the race was sooo wet in Ontario with potential for boat loads of freezing rain, it flooded most of the cool sections of the course which meant a mandatory course change for the organizers. Not knowing the course would be much different, I figured I would come prepared for some mud. Alternatively, we didn’t spend much time in the mud, and lots more time on hard packed ground. But in the early afternoon as the sun came out, the frozen ground turned to a mushy bog, not ideal for anything with tread…

Also super pumped to see some kids out front of their house made a jump and put it in the middle of the road. I got some good air time on such a sweet jump (which I yelled) I’m pretty sure they were too young to get the Napolean Dynamite reference, which made me sad 😦 Then due to the shortened course and super fast times we were posting, the police road crew weren’t at their posts yet, so lots of the major intersections weren’t patrolled yet. The race organizer did a great job of helping us get through them with very little trouble.

Then the hurt came. Mike and Justin layed down a pretty tough pace going through another boggy section which was just too long for me to get back on afterwards and off they went. I knew it in my head that it was a little too far out to be dropped, and hoped that I could ride it into the finish while holding off the imminent chase group (which now included Page). But the great thing about P2A is that the best parts of the course come in the last 5 km’s. I guess Mike crashed pretty hard in the second mud chute which is a yearly ritual for him to do at least once and punctured pretty hard having to roll it in on a front flat. I came by him on the base of the final climb to finish 2nd for the second year in a row.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Allen

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Allen

Congrats to Lindine for holding strong and managing the World Cup Zolder style mud chute to claim his first P2A jersey.

Many thanks again for the organizers of P2A. This year stood out as a special one with all the celebrity cyclists who showed up: Gord Singleton, Curt Harnett, Steve Bauer, Tara Whitten, and many more. True Canadian Heros!  As well as the future in-laws for hosting me and a few pounds of mud over the weekend…

Check out this wicked cartoon someone came up with: http://www.brantnews.com/opinion/editorial-cartoon-50/

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