I guess some people would be disappointed but I am actually upbeat about the first race experience of the year.
I knew the new bike from Zuck bikes was going to be a rush to have done for the race but Don did an amazing job getting it as ready as possible this week. We did some initial tweaking last night but knew there would be future adjustments to be made. As an easy going person, I didn't mind trying something new on a B race so off the races I went.
We had a very solid group of duathletes show up for the Welland Sprint on this day and I was very excited to test my new fitness and reduced racing weight. I had my game plan in mind and was ready to execute.
After checking in, saying a few hellos, and getting settled in transition, it was time to rock!
Having raced this course over a number of times as both a triathlon and duathlon, I had my lines picked out and waited for the horn to start my bid against Jesse Bauer's time from last year.
I was quick out of the gate and took the lead heading into Lincoln Ave and across the bridge. I focused on keeping my stride longer than the past and pushed the pace imagining I was chasing Jesse and Mike Park as was the case last year.
At each turn I would check my gap back to second place, Spencer Summerfield, hoping to create some space I may need if he hammered the bike as per his specialty.
By the time I started to head back to the transition, I had put a little time on the chasers and followed the lead bike into the mix of fans and swimmers coming out of the water. Here I made a slight error following the cyclist past the turn to merge with the triathletes only to have MSC captain, John Salt, direct me into the right direction. This slight miss did not register on the mats so I missed the split but it was short of the 5k anyway.
The 5k happens at transition beside the bikes so I hit my button at 17:10 under the Run In banner, which is a good 30 seconds faster than last year!
After a decent transition, I was quickly out in the bike course and pushing hard.For not having enough time yet to dial the new bike in, I was pleasantly surprised to be clicking off a very solid pace out there. I knew we had a slight tail wind on the way out so did not let the high average take too much of the focus and just trusted the effort.
As I hit the 15k turn around, I fueled up and started to look for the others down the line. First up was Andrew McLeod so I knew he was hammering it to pass Spencer out on the bike course. This was my alert that I could not relax or take the head wind too easy so I pushed even harder, trying to save a plus 40km/h average.
This was going very well and the ride home was building a huge amount of confidence in my legs. I was less than 5 k out when I made the tricky left hand turn back towards the rowing canel, timing the tragic pretty well. I was really starting to think about the run and get focused on leg turnover when bad luck set in.
All of the sudden, each pedal stroke got tougher and tougher. In less than a few hundred metres, it had seized completely. I could not pedal at all. Darn it.
I looked down and could not see any issue so I hit the brakes and jumped off to look at the crank. It looked fine.
The. I looked at the back and found the culprit, the cassette had loosened over the ride and finally fell off the hub.
I tried to slide the pieces back on but shaky hands and sweat was making it a big chore. The chasers showed up on the horizon. Andrew and then Spencer whizzed by.
I actually was confident enough that I thought I could still win and struggledto get the pieces back on fast but it just would not go.
My day was done. The broom wagon showed up short after I gave up and the drive of shame started. Ha ha
As a comparison on Strava,I was 38:33 to this point of the bike only this year compared to 40:20 in 2014!