Tour of Alberta – A whole lot of awesomeness and a season dedicated to the ‘Talent’

Posted: 8 September 2013 in Uncategorized

As I sit here stuck at work on a weekend after killing myself and my back in the 2nd Annual Kettle Cross Enduro CX race, I can’t get focused, just keep thinking about the week that’s blown my mind…

Oh yeah, before I go further, Emily, my lovely wife, I’ve won you an almost matching Kettle Cross coffee cup, FYI.

The week to top them all emotionally in terms of bike related things was all centred around the Tour of Alberta. The big week long stage race just below tour de France level, and I had two team mates racing in it from my Trade Team, Team H&R BLOCK. Originally based out of Calgary, the teams goals have always been to prepare riders for the next level of bike riding. And gosh darnit this race is a big step up. Garret McLeod and Kris Dahl were representing with Garrett on the National team and Kris making a spot on the Smart Stop team after his impressive showing at the Banff Bike Fest.

It’s unbelievable to see his progression from local Alberta racing to the big show and the little hurdles along the way. When Kris first joined the team I figured I’d have my hands full trying to teach this kid everything I knew about road racing. Little did I know, he’d be the one teaching me a thing or two. Every race the two of us showed up to we wouldn’t have to say a word as he would know exactly what to do and when. And he had the legs to follow through. I would just act as a little bit of a buffer to complete the deal. For a while there racing in Alberta all the team would have to do is send the two of us to a race, and we’d be more than likely coming home with a Win. Alas, Kris had bigger fish to fry…

When the announcement came out about the ‘Making the tour’ Spot on Team Smart Stop p/b Mountain Khakis, Kris was all over it. At the time I was gearing up for the Tour de Beauce as I had never done it before and was really looking forward to checking off a bucket list item. When our director Mark asked me to not to Beauce and make sure Kris sealed the deal in Banff, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. All he had to do was finish as the top U23 rider at the end of the weekend, and he had his spot. Which realistically after nearly winning the overall the year before only to be passed over to his team mate (yes that’s me) seemed like not the hardest thing to do.

But the way Kris won it was nothing shy of magical. Yeah, his TT’ing was a little weak compared to the year before, but he won ALL mass start races. A feat never before seen at the Banff Bike Fest. And one of the coolest feelings wasn’t winning a race myself, but having the ability to contribute to his. A special feeling made better when the owner of Team Smart Stop was on hand to watch his sprint finish at the end of the last road race.

Kris Banff Bike Fest win

Fast forward to present day:

Not only did Kris make the Tour of Alberta, but he made it worth the teams while by getting his name on TV, the team and sponsors names in front of millions of viewers and to roll into his home town in the break on the last day of the tour (which is no easy feat in case you readers think this may be the case) with all his friends, family, athletes, and sponsors watching I can’t imagine how he must have felt.

Kris Tour of Alberta Break

Just knowing that big or small, I made a difference in how he got there… Speachless.

Kris, your biggest fan is the one who will give up everything to see you succeed. Chapeau and thanks!

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