Racing in La Mauricie National Park

Today was my second and last road race of the year... well, not really a true race but a cyclosportive that took place in the beautiful La Mauricie National Park. I think the only flat section of roads were on a bridge or two. The field was huge with 1069 people lining up for the 105km one way and back course, 911 being in the mens category. We were freezing in the morning but once the race started, we weren't so cold and the sun came out to play not long after so it was a beautiful day.

I had some trouble to get going (as always) so I never saw the front pack and eventually found myself in a nice group. I was also not feeling too good and energized. I didn't do any training this last week to let my knee rest after last week's cross race so the first few kilometers were a shock to the system. I could ride at an okay pace then but didn't have the snap, crackle and pop to make any attacks or try to get away from the group.

Climbing is usually my strength but today I was definitly not at my best against gravity, I wasn't bad and I had no trouble climbing with the mouth closed along with people puffing and panting, I was just not my usual mountain goat self. I did manage to bridge to a group up the road at the beginning but I stayed with that group pretty much all race long. At one point, two tried to escape, I got on their wheels but a few minutes later, we were all back together. The group was sometimes a 15 riders affair, sometimes 40 and at one point I got dropped by a few, found myself alone between both parts but when I got caught by the second half, we eventually caught the others back and we even caught a few groups by the end to come in a very distant 248th with a huge group.

I didn't expect much before the race so I'm okay with the result, my time of 3:24:17 at an average 31km/h on such a hilly course is not so bad considering. I'll be back next year.

We saw the Quebec rep from Cannondale who was racing today on a wonderful 2010 SuperSix Liquigas Team Replica... and I think I'll need to pay my LBS a visit and place my order in pretty soon, impressive bike! Might make such events even more fun than on a cross bike. It's hard to take a layer of clothing off or try to find some food in the rear pocket of the first layer I had going down a descent at full speed on such a nervous bike... It would allow me to permanently set the 9 Ball as a dedicated cross bike...


Nic said...

You did a wonderful race as a première ride in the Parc de la Mauricie. Next year we do some training before... the ride is just so nice!

Anonymous said...

any pictures?

Dan Gerous said...

Nic: next year, we'll be in better shape, better training and hopefully not sick... After the cx season, I'll just enjoy the rides but start trying to figure out a good off-season training plan and follow it up with a good in-season plan, according to goals and planned races. (I'll prescribe you some nice intervals sessions)

Anonymous: I don't have any pictures from la Mauricie myself and I haven't come across any at all yet. The official site says 'photos to come'. I'll post something if I get some good ones.