Ups and Downs at Nationals

The Goal race for all Trek Canada riders has finally arrived, so it’s time for show Canada how good we are!!  With some of our riders heading straight to St Felicien after the Canada Cup in Baie St Paul, it was a good chance to get a few extra laps in and settle into the Hotel Living again.

Trek Canada wants to thanks Zach Tatem from The Bicycle Repair Co. for taking such good care of not only us as riders, but our bikes as well.  One of the best mechanics we have ever trusted our bikes to…. and a great guy!!  Check him out if you need any work done on your machine – he’ll come right to your house!!

With what some call the Best Race Course in Canada having a few upgrades over the early summer, it promised to be a great battle between some great riders, and to add to the competition was a new factor – Mother Nature.  She decided to dump LOTS of rain on the course the day before the race and througout the entire race weekend, making the course that much more demanding of focus and finesse.

Off early on Saturday morning was our Junior racers, and both Soren and Tyler were hoping to have another strong performance against strong competition.  With new Ultra Traction XR3’s on their bikes, the mud didn’t seem that slick and the climbs didn’t feel as tough.  Soren was having a great race after her usual fast start, and had broken away with another racer after only 1 lap.  It was the 2 girls back and forth taking control and pushing the other into the Red Zone when tragedy happened.  On a slippy rock and small ditch section in the AquaParc feature, Soren was kicked over the bars and landed face / shoulder first in the far side.

Soren Nats

Her helmet broken, her lips bleeding and bruises already forming on her thigh, she was picked up by team mate Jon and her mother and taken to First Aid.  Aside from the blood, it was determined that she did suffer some heat trauma and it was a good thing that she stopped racing, even though her competitive drive was trying to get her back onto her bike.  A tough end to Nationals for Soren, but even the best go down, and this will be a learning experience for her for the future.

SM blood

On the course at the same time, Tyler was testing his strength and skills again a tough field from across the country.  A good start up a tough hill put Tyler in the right position to chase and work his way up through the field.  Consistent pressure and aggressive riding on the double track helped Tyler move up a few places, while his tire choice and balance allowed him to avoid slipping out on the roots and rocks.

TO Corner

Junior riders are know for their lack of fear and willingness to go all out, and that is how Tyler rode his race from start to finish.  Another strong performance from Tyler as he came across the line in 12th spot.

TO Carve

The Elite racers were up next, and we had 3 Trek Canada members in the Men’s field. Stacked with former National Champions and World Cup racers, it promised to be a full on battle of power, fitness, skill and ability to suffer.  Mitch has a great ability to go hard and ride at his max, and proved he was here to compete with a strong start that put him in the Top 10 after the first lap.

MB Climb

Unfortunately, he is still looking for his Racing Legs after his early season illness and work requirements in Grad School in San Francisco, and it proved to be too much.  Mitch pulled out after 3 laps and a good battle, but we all know that it’s hard to race at your best when you are struggling to get time on the bike.

Diva nats

Adam had a great start, using his huge power to stay with the leaders up the gravel climb before settling into a great pace after the first lap.  The layout of the course forced the racers to remain focused and attentive at all times, with berms, rocks, climbs and chutes being thrown at you in quick succession.

AM Carve

Adam wasn’t quite in his top form after a struggle with recent illness, but was still able to fight his way to the finish line for an impressive 10th place – only 4sec behind last year’s National Champion!!

AM almost done

Peter doesn’t ever lead out the start, but is the type of rider that you always have to worry about because he is chasing you down!!  Starting from just behind Mitch after the first lap, Pete charged forward with power and impressive skills.

PG nats

People love to watch Pete race because he never gives up, and “Performs” for the crowd – standing when he gets the chance and throwing down a Moto-Whip over the high speed Container Jump!!!  An impressive ride for Pete – finishing better than his number plate number – 7th in Canada!!

PG Performer

After the Relay Race on Sunday morning, it was Jon’t turn to try and defend the Maple Leaf Jersey, but it wouldn’t be easy with the biggest competition from previous years all lined up beside him.  Knowing that a strong start was key, Jon was up the hill in 4th place, and worked his way into a break with another rider after half a lap.  After the first time up the main climb, it was clear that his competition was not having a great day, so Jon took the lead and kept the pace high.

JB Corner 2

The 2nd of 5 times up the main climb, Jon had a small gap and knew that the time had arrived to snap the band, and put in a big effort to break free and out of sight.  After that, it just became a game of catching as many of the 30-39 ridres and getting them between him and his chasers.  With 2 laps to go and a nice lead, it was Jon’s race to lose if he found trouble, so he settled into a pace that would not build his lead, but would also not push the limit of his body or  bike.  Jon rolled across the line with his 2nd National Champion jersey in 2 years, and a big smile on his face!!

JB Corner

Trek Canada would also like to congratulate Emily Batty on another strong ride, coming in for a great 2nd place finish in the Elite Women’s category.

Em

So at the end of a muddy weekend, Trek Canada returned to their respective destinations happy with the weekend, tired from our efforts, and proud of our Team.  It’s time for a bit of rest before ramping it up again for the end of the season.

Tuning it up at the Albion OCup

As a prep race for the upcoming Canadian Nationals, a couple of the Trek Canada riders used the tough and hilly course of Albion Hills to polish their skills and fitness. On a warm and sunny afternoon, Jon and Soren took to the trails for one last Full Gas workout before packing the car and heading to St Felicien for Nationals.

The course was a great mix of fast singletrack, double track climbs, rocks, roots and a few tough hills.  Possibly the best course Albion has had to offer lately, it was lots of fun to ride, and just as much fun to race.

The starting hill welcomed the racers to the Red Zone, and forced us to keep on the gas the entire race, or your speed was stolen from you!!!  Soren had her usual Ruthless Start to stomp out her authority on her followers, and felt great on the course the whole day.  She focused on finding lapped riders to chase as she visualized National’s Challengers, being aggressive in the open and smooth in the trees.

SM albion 1

Soren’s skills are always impressive, and it’s hard to comprehend how she can ride so smoothly and with so little braking.  She definitely won the award for best Style Points over the Rock Launch, and powered her way to a convincing 2min 30sec victory.

Soren Air

Jon was also up to the challenge, and looking for a good test with a few riders who would be his biggest challenge at Nationals also.  A much better start (remember Hardwood’s start-line gong-show??) led to a group of 3 strong riders breaking away quickly.  Jon was doing his best to control the pace, pushing the hills and maxing out the speed in the fun single track.

JB Albion 1

The others were more than happy to let Jon do the work, and since there wasn’t much chance for drafting, Jon was happy to do all the work!!!  Lapped riders stalled a few attacks, allowing Jon’s chasers to get back on his wheel, and it was obvious that the race would come down to a final sprint to the top of the final climb – not the finish line.

JB Albion 2

With little room to pass within the last 1km of course, Jon had a strategic plan for the final punch, but forgot to include a tree in that plan!!!  And that tree clipped Jon’s bar, throwing his to the ground, and forcing him to roll his bike to the finish line with a warped from wheel and twisted bars.  All the planning in the world sometimes fails you….

Neither rider can be upset with their performance, and since we are athletes – we will always look for ways to improve.  Now it’s time to recover and travel as we head to Quebec to chase the Red and White jersey!!!

PanAm Gold!!

Spent an amazing day at Hardwood Ski and Bike for the PanAm Mountain bike race this past weekend.  The weather was hot and humid, and the course was going to be a real test for the athletes.  Lots of steep climbs, technical descents, tough features and a strong field would bring the best to the front… and that’s exactly what happened!!

EB Close Up

A great start to the race sent our own Emily Batty and country-mate Catherine Pendrel breaking away early and setting a blistering pace that no-one could match.  The 2 ladies traded the lead and pushed the pace, attacking each other in a battle of will and skill to see who would be the PanAm champion.  These 2 ladies have battled many times before, and  it’s always a toss up to see who wins.

EB Climbing

With a huge crowd cheering on the Canadians, and all the racers, it came down to the last half lap to decide who was going to take it.  An attempted attack by Emily was held off before another attack was launched that became the breaking point.  A bike length turned into several bike lengths which turned into too big of a gap for the amount of race left.

EB Medal

Trek Canada wants to send out a special Congrats to Emily for taking PanAm Gold – We Love You Emily!!!!

Hardwood Canada Cup – Our Home Course!!

The PanAm Games are coming to Hardwood Ski and Bike, but there was a big event before that big event!!  The best riders in Canada descended upon the re-designed and upgraded course that will be used for the PanAm’s, and it was well received!!  Great singlet rack, fast double track, technical climbs and flowing downhills challenged all the riders, and tired legs were paired with smiling faces at the finish line.

Pachi

Trek Canada was up to the challenge, and always love to make a statement where many of us grew up learning how to ride.  Hardwood has expanded their rider development, and offer great programs with qualified coaches for kids ranging from 7yrs old up to the Junior level.  Although many of these younger kids had to race early in the morning, it was great to see the stick around to see the Big Dogs throw it down.

PG MB HH

The early kid races happened under threatening skies, and Jon was involved in the first race that was peppered by rain and dark clouds.  After a less-than-perfect start, it was time to charge ahead and make his was back to the front of the group and take control of the race.  After learning the lesson about “Leading is better than Following” from Horseshoe, Jon was on the front pushing the pace, and was able to get away from his lone challenger with 1.5 laps to go.  Once the rain started, the fast trails turned into Dirt Slip ‘n Slides, and it was a fine line between staying on the power and keeping the tires biting.  But the XR2’s were up for the task, and Jon was able to extend his lead to win his second Canada Cup in as many weekends.

JB HH

The rain continued to fall as the Elites and Juniors made their ways to the starting pens, but there are some things you can’t control, so you shouldn’t concern yourself with them.  As the Elite Men, with Mitch and Peter among them, hit the first couple hills, it was very evident that a lead group would be pushing the limits of traction and fitness, dancing over the slippery roots and still launching the rock jumps.  Mitch was once again in contact with that lead group and fought hard to match the attacks, riding many of the tougher lines with ease.  It is a great testament to the skill of these riders when their line choice and speed are not affected very much by such a change in trail conditions.  Another solid finish for Mitch in 12th place, and his legs are coming around nicely after the early season illness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Peter finished the race covered in mud, exhausted, sore and smiling after another Full Throttle Effort.  It could be heard in the spectators that they were impressed with how Peter was riding, making it look easy and graceful when it was really tough and rough.  “Wow, Peter caught another 2 people that lap!”  “Man, Pete rode that line Really well!!”  Compliments to a Warrior on the bike and Gentleman in competition, Pete rode full out and worked his way all the way up to 9th position in a very deep field of strong riders.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the Juniors, Tyler was looking for some vengence after his mechanical trouble last week, and was not afraid to take charge of his day.  Some strong Quebec riders were added to the usual strong Ontario riders, and the stage was set for an epic battle of skill and will.  Fighting for every hill and getting the most out of his bike and body, Tyler shook off his chasers and chased his challengers until the very end, finishing up in a very impressive 4th position, only 2:00min behind the leader – and it’s only his first year as a Junior.

Ty HH

Another Trek Canada racer in the world of fast Juniors is Soren, and she wanted to reinforce the fact that she is the best in Canada, and was not about to let someone beat her on a course she has been racing since she was 6yrs old.  Another Euro Style Start put Soren at the front on the first set of rollers, and it was up to the other girls to try and match her power, skill and strategy – which no-one was able to do!!  She continued to extend her lead, running some of the hills to conservatively hold onto precious seconds, and rolled across the line with mud in her teeth for another inspiring win.

SM HH

Congrats as always to our Favourite World Cup Woman – Emily Batty for making it look sooo easy out there!!  “How to Race with Control in the Mud” was the lesson of the day for the rest of the Elite Woman’s field as Emily showed everyone why she is among the best in the world!!

EB HH

The stage has been set for great battles in all categories for Trek Canada as we put the finishing touches on our training before making the trip to St. Felicien for the National Championships on July 17th.  Wish us luck as we race, recover, eat and dream thinking about Red and White Champions Jerseys!!

Peter – Conquering Trans-ylvania Epic

Last year was Peter’s first year attacking the Trans-ylvania Epic 7 day stage race, and he vowed to return better prepared for the task.  The TSE Race is a tough and demanding 7 days on the bike, with long days on the bike in the rocky and hills terrain of Pennsylvania. 

PG Battling

Peter was down to win this year on his Superfly 100 FS and the Trek Store Toronto set him up with the parts to do it. ESI tapered grips, thick gloves to protect hands from constant poudning from the rocks, flat resistant Bontrager XR 2 and XR3 (enduro day!) tires.  

PG Post battle 2
Hammer Nutrition made sure Peter had lots of Hammer Gel, Endurolytes and for post-stage Hammer Whey, Hammer Recoverite and Hammer bars.
 
Hammer
Peter put in a good fight but ended up in forth after the Competitive Cyclist trio of Payson, Justin Lindine, and Tristin Uhl swept the podium. Each of the racers are very strong individually but as a team they made a very hard group to overcome in the very demanding rocky singletrack and certainly, out on the open road and gravel. 
 
PG Sitting 2
Over the week Peter had several interviews and hung out with great people, such as MTB legend Sue Haywood.  The race features an Enduro Day (Stage 3) and also a gravel grinder day (stage 4). Around the stages events like wheelie contest, brewery stop and Winery tour keep everyone happy and socializing. Best of all the race takes place in a scout camp so everyday for a week is like Summer Camp for adults ! 
 
PG Handshake 2
Peter will be back next year to make sure his 3rd time is a charm … will you be there to try your skills out on the #EastCoastRocks ?

Horseshoe Canada Cup – A Great Day!!

The Horseshoe Valley Canada Cup course is a difficult mixture of steep climbs, power flats and technical features, and forces you to be attentive and strong at every corner.  Trek Canada spent many laps on the course before stepping up to the start line, and felt confident about their upcoming rides.  With the Hardwood Ski and Bike Canada Cup the following weekend, attendance of the top racers in the country was high, which meant it would be a tough day in the saddle.

Horseshoe and Team Pics 122With the sun shining and the skies blue, the day started off with Jon being called up at Canada Cup and Ontario Cup series leader.  After a short start loop and a few followers, it was clear that Jon would be spending the majority of the race with his usual Partner of Pain – taking turns leading the charge and growing an increasing impressive gap on 3rd place.  Good things happen when you take charge of your race, and this was case for Jon when his chaser flatted half way through the 2nd lap, leaving him alone to find the finish line.  Never one to back off and play it safe, Jon continued to power the climbs and roll the singletrack, coming across with a 5min gap and a smile on his face.

JB 1

Up next were the Elite men and women, followed closely by our Junior men and women.  With Adam still feeling the affects of a viral infection, it was Mitch and Pete who were set to do battle on the course, and it proved to be a fast start for everyone.  Mitch worked his way into a leading group for the first lap, and fought bravely to hold their wheels.  His early season illness prevented him from creating a base that allowed for this type of effort, and he slowly started to drift backwards from the leaders.  Mitch is a very talented rider, so even though his legs still needed to find their racing form, his skills and persistence helped him finish a strong 14th overall.

MB 2

Peter had a bit slower of a start, as he usually does, and worked his way forward through the group.  At first it looked like he and Mitch would work together to move up in the pack, but Peter held an impressive pace that allowed him to pick off riders and earn him spots.  Full gas all the way to the finish line, Peter made his way up to 7th overall, and a strong ride on some tired legs.

PG 2

The Junior racers were chasing the Elite groups, and in usual form, Soren had a super strong start, forcing her competitors to dig deep just to stay in contact with her.  But on this day, Soren`s power and skills proved to be too much for the others to handle, and she drove her way further and further ahead.  Even as she was getting passed by the Elite Men`s leaders, she used them for motivation to push on, holding their wheels to bring her to the line over 2:30 ahead of her chaser.

SM 2

Tyler was feeling strong and fit after some great weeks of training, and looked forward to testing his fitness against the best in Canada.  The start is key to any race, and Tyler was in there right from the line, working hard and pushing the pace.  Luck would not be on his side today, as mechanical issues slowed him down.  Even though he broke his chain twice, he never gave up and did his best to fight for any and every position he could.  Bad luck but a strong ride will give Tyler all the more motivation for Hardwood next weekend.  25th is not where Tyler deserves to be, but sometimes that`s racing!!

TO 1

Hardwood Ski and Bike Canada Cup is up next, and a Home Course for many of us.  Should be another great weekend on the bike!!

How do you Hammer?

Here at Trek Canada, we often get asked questions about nutrition, hydration, fuelling on the bike, fuelling off the bike and recovery, and it often turns into a long conversation.  Truth of the matter is that every person needs to find what works for them, but it never hurts to have a few suggestions!!

Trek Canada is fortunate enough to be sponsored by one of the best Performance Nutrition companies around – Hammer Nutrition.  Aside from being tasty treats that really do their jobs, Hammer is also a pure source of energy without unnecessary chemicals, fillers or sugars.

The entire Teams uses a combination of Hammer Gels and Hammer Bars during rides / races and HEED in our water bottles.  Post ride usually involves Recoverite followed by some form of Whey Powder in food / shakes.  Depending on the weather, we also like how the Hammer Endurolytes keep our legs feeling fresh.  With so many great products, it’s easy to make the right choice for any condition or training situation.

For the Visual Learners, Soren has put together a video showing how Hammer Whey Protein is used in her special Hammer Time Baneggs – a race morning favourite.

For the Scientific Learners, Mitch has put together information about Hammer Whey vs other sources of protein, and makes it easy to understand why it takes the best nutrition to create the best performance.

http://mitchbailey.blogspot.ca/

Either way you look at it, Hammer is a great source of clean, pure nutrition that is easy to use and practical on the bike.  Check it out, give it some thought, and find some at any Trek Bicycles stores or you local shop.