With the coming and going of Cyclocross Provincials at Hardwood Hills, the 2014 cycling season comes to a close. After our many trips, flights, long drives, and hotel rooms came afternoon rests, 2XU recovery, ClifBar refueling and start lines. It has been a great year for all of us…. but first lets focus on the most recent task.
With Mitch enjoying the Cali sunshine, Peter feeling the need to “get unfit before getting fit,” it was Jon and Soren who clipped in for one last start line before some much needed rest. Although Jon was hoping to get more CX racing in, the season didn’t turn out to be ideal, and a few race-free weeks became a factor. After a good start (he actually lead out the race!!) he found himself chasing the leading pair.
Unable to make the bridge to the leader, he was forced to play Cat and Mouse with a strong rider, trying to extend an earned gap through the technical sections and losing it along the false flat power climbs. Back and forth they went until it came down to the last 1/4 lap, where Jon was passed and chased again.
With a slight hesitation that allowed an opportunity to re-take the lead disappear, Jon lost the sprint for 2nd, coming across the line tired (cold!!) but happy with the last race of the year and the legs that took him there.
Soren has also had a busy fall after recovery from her broken wrist, digging herself out from behind textbooks, XC running in high school and getting ready for the CX races. With her new Crockett, Soren took advantage of the rest to come back strong and motivated, running in the OFSAA championships and then racing her first CX race the next day. Soren found some good legs again for Provincials, and turned on some strong power as she raced with the Elite Women’s field.
A small gap in CX grows quickly, and Soren found herself chasing also, unable to catch the winner but very happy with a strong 2nd place finish. Too bad she missed September or it could have been an exciting fall!!!
So now it is time for a rest, time to catch up on things that have been overlooked as we focused on our bikes, and time to reflect on a great season throughout. It is with fond memories that we ponder 2014, while smiles grow on our faces, memories grow in our minds and pride grows in our hearts.
We would like to sincerely thank all those who supported us along the way, and could not achieve the greatness that we have found without the help of Trek Bikes, ClifBar, 2XU Compression, Pro Gold and SRAM components. As important as our sponsors is the never-ending support and encouragement of our family and friends – we hope that you feel the same pride as we do.
With Trek Canada into it’s fall season, it means that sometimes we need to go back to work or school – so the Team has somewhat disbanded temporarily. Mitch has headed back to get smarter, Soren is hiding behind a mountain of books, Jon is trying to instill lifelong knowledge on the youth of today, and Pete is ripping it up on the cyclo-cross scene!!
For some, ‘cross is their favorite time of year. A chance to ride REALLY hard, but not very long. A chance to work on skills, and crash a few times. A chance to perfect riding in the mud, and constantly clean their bike. A chance to test new cold riding clothing, and enjoy a warm tea when the day is done.
And for those of us who love to race ‘cross, the feeling of speed, cornering, power and acceleration is amazing. Pete has spent many weeks lately travelling the US and Canada taking part in the CX world, showing off his amazing skills like Stair Hopping!!
He has washed, re-cabled and raced (and aired out!!) his Crocket through all sorts of conditions in all sorts of locations, and is representing Trek Canada very well.
Lots of top 10 finishes, including a 9th place finish at CX Nationals in Winnipeg last weekend, and lots of smiles (not to mention 1 fight about the wearing of knee-warmers!!) along the way.
Jon has also dangled in a few local races, playing in the mud at the Toronto CX and the Fireman’s CX, finding podium finishes in both.
With only a couple more races left in the sason, both Jon and Peter will be in attendance at CX Provincials that will happen at Hardwood Hills on Nov 9th.
One of the best part of racing CX – they give away BEER as prizes!!
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the CX racing world, give it a try!! It’s fast, fun, tough …. and more than slightly painful!! If you have seen more and more CX bikes rolling around the streets, parks, forest or paths, head in to your local Trek Store and check our the Crocket and Boone – 2 amazing options for getting in on that action!!
The Fall Epic 8hr Relay race is always one that draws a large crowd of riders who are looking to challenge themselves, ride with friends, and brave potential cold weather. But this year was full of sunshine, great trails, tons of smiles and good memories.
Trek had 4 teams in the race this year – Trek Canada which consisted of Jon, Steve Heck and Taylor Near, Trek Factory with Emily and Adam, Batty Trek with Eric, Rick, Eden and Mark, and Trek Toronto which is the consistent and long running team of Barry, Gavin, Steve and Tim.
It was a good day all around, after Adam, Eric and Jon lead out the first lap on the open trail at a blistering pace. From then on it was Team Strategy, recovery, food and timing that became the topic of discussion under the Trek tents. Each team had their own challenges with order of riders and crashes, and of course legs that grew less and less willing to go hard, but it turned out to be a great day.
Adam and Emily easily won the Mixed Pairs category, and almost won the Overall Pairs category. When you get these 2 riders warmed up and pulling off triple laps, there’s not a lot of people who can keep up.
The Batty Trek team had a set back with Rick’s crash (hurt his shoulder but he’s ok now…) but were able to recover with some strong laps to finish just off the podium. Napping is key to recovery… as Mark demonstrates here.
Trek Canada was in control right from the start with a lot of strong laps and no mistakes, although everyone hated the dreaded “Field Crit” section at the top!! A great ride from everyone put them on the Top Step with 19 total laps.
And the Trek Toronto Team are always in a back and forth battle each year, winning the Summer Epic 8hr but coming a close 2nd in the Fall Edition. Only a few minutes back of first, but when you are on the course and being affected by slower lapped riders, sometimes a few minutes is just too hard to make up.
All in all a great day once again, and thanks goes out to Glenn and everyone at Pulse Racing for another successful race.
As the end of the MTB season approaches, the rides tend to get longer, more challenging, but also more fun!! Everyone loves to ride their bikes in the cool fall weather through the beautiful leaves – the only difficulty is that the rain sometimes catches up with you!!
Crank the Shield happened this past weekend and Peter made the trip up north to challenge this last running of Ontario’s only 3 day MTB Stage Race. Peter won the first Crank the Shield in 2008 and so adding a win to his 2014 campaign and the honor of being the first and the last winner of CTS was on his mind.
The weather was wet and cold going into the weekend with Friday and Sunday turning into nice chilly but sunny fall days while Saturday had rain and cold temperatures that challenged all the participants to dress well for the conditions.
Peter’s weekend was made easier by the ‘Rock Star’ Service provided by the Trek Canada mechanics who were there helping out many of the Crank the Shield participants. Taylor led the washing part of the Trek Store service ‘assembly line’ and made sure he could site his spray with a custom Pressure Washer Scope Light.
The Bike of choice for the weekend was the SuperFly 100 which made short work of the rough Canadian Shield terrain but also locked out completly to allow Peter to gain time in his aero position on the long road segments.
Over the long Labour Day weekend, Mitch and Soren traveled all the way to Norway for this year’s World Championships. After the long flight and some adjusting to the new time zone, it was course inspection time. Lap after lap, this new course proved to be a physical and mental challenge, and one that required exception skill. Tough climbs, tougher descents and no real place to rest and recover – this would be a battle to the end!
Soren’s first World Championships, and with no expectations other than “Try my best and have fun,” she was called up in 30th place with a great 2nd row start.
A great first few laps and digging deep, Soren was working her way up the field and feeling strong, until bad luck caught her. After making a pass and opting for the A-Line, her front wheel got stuck in a rock that sent her flying over the bars onto the roots and rocks.
As all great racers do, her first thought was to get back on her bike and make up any lost time, and then assess damage to the bike and body. Her body was bruised and she felt some pain in her wrist, and her Superfly wasn’t shifting so well any more. Riding to get to the pits sent her chain into her spokes, forcing her to get off to yank it out. After re-mounting, another hill saw the chain return to it’s jammed position, this time for good. Choices: DNF or run…. so she ran!!
After several sections of carrying her bike because the chain wouldn’t let the wheel spin, she finally made it to the pits where the Team Canada mechanics were able to get it running again. Back in the saddle, Soren fought her way back towards the front again, coming across the finish line in 28th spot – not too bad considering what she had to overcome!
So one purple cast, two tired legs and many lessons learned, Soren is back home for some much deserved rest and recovery.
Mitch has attended the World Champions several times, and was hoping to overcome the bad luck from last year (he was struck by a car during his warm up ride suffering minor injuries and a broken bike.) A good call up position and a member of a strong Canadian U23 team that included 4 other Canadians, Mitch was off the line strong and fighting his way up the dusty road.
Mitch has a great way of riding consistent laps and keeping the pressure on, so he worked his way up to 17th position half way through the race. The rough course then made it’s first attack on Mitch, flatting his tire and forcing him to also visit the Pit Zone.
It’s always hard to re-motivate yourself after an unplanned stop, but Mitch is a fighter and returned to a state of “Full Gas.” He continued to work his way back towards the middle of the pack until he also had a significant crash.
It took a while to get his legs back under him, but Mitch was able to hang on and come across the line in 31st position – an improvement from last year but not an ideal end to his U23 career.
With the 2014 season behind them, it’s time for these 2 youngsters to get back to school before preparing to do it all over again!!
This coming weekend (September 7th) is the annual Ride for Karen charity ride that benefits children with cancer by helping send them to summer camps in the Muskoka region. It is a great event that was started 14 years ago by members of the Trek Family (Kirk and Kris Tobias) after the passing of their mother. Since it’s humble start, the ride has grown into an event that draws over 300 riders and generates $200,000+ every year. 2013 saw the Ride surpass the $2Million mark – an amazing accomplishment and a lot of great memories for kids!!
This year, since the RFK does not conflict with the OCup schedule, Jon will be able to attend the event again. The rest of our riders will be at Worlds, in San Fran, or the US, but that does not mean we don’t still believe in the event.
If you would like more information about the Ride, or would like to join us for a great day, please check our the link HERE.
To help support less fortunate kids who will benefit from the RFK, please sponsor Jon. Secure on-line donations can be made HERE.
Any and all support is greatly appreciated, with 100% of money raised going directly to the children.
Rain, shine, wind or cold, the Ride for Karen is always a high class event with many great sponsor (including the Trek Store), run by good friends, and with the purpose of “Riding Hard Building Hope.”