Bouncing around at Buckwallow OCup

After a 2 year break, the OCup Series has returned to Buckwallow Cycling Center in Gravenhurst, home of the roughest and possibly toughest technical course in Ontario.  There are very few “climbs” but the course is extremely demanding none the less.

With Peter out at CrankWorx and Soren at McMaster for orientation (she will be at Worlds for the Real Orientation) it was up to Jon and Tyler to represent Trek Canada on a hot day in the rocks and mosquitos.

The word of the day was “Flat” as rider after rider was forced to walk their bike on un-inflated tires.  With complete attention on being smooth and fluid, and always being aware of the rear tire, Tyler had a good strong start on the long lead out before the starting single track.  With Local Boy Quinton Disera preparing for Worlds, it was obvious that he was out to see how hard he could push, and this left the rest of the pack chasing right from the start.

Ty Bucky 2

Another common competitor suffered a flat tire early in the first lap, so the charge was left up to Tyler to limit the lead between Quinton and the rest of the field.  Lapped riders also became a problem to overcome, as many fit riders did not have the strength or skills to handle such a course.

Ty Bucky

Floating and flowing, Tyler was able to break away from the rest of the group early in the race, and used his power to pound through the long flats and laid off the brakes in the rough rocks and roots.  Time gaps between riders were significant, and Tyler came across the line a strong 2nd place.

After a difficult morning with the 9am start race (both Jon’s sons had tough races – Luke crashed hard and Jake flatted early and walked most of the race…) Jon was also on the course and looking for a good result.

JB over Rock Bucky

It was again quite obvious from the start that another rider wanted to take the win, and was very good in the rough single track.  After less than half a lap, Jon and Rob (his usual competition) had lost sight of the early charger, and never got within 45sec of him despite their efforts.  That left a race for 2nd, and Jon was hoping that he had the advantage with his Superfly 100 dually.  He as riding West de Nial and Spur Line quite well, but Rob was always able to bridge back up on the double track.  So it would come down to a final 2km race again, and Jon was determined to lead as much of the race and force an error from Rob.

JB leading RH

No error was forced, and as the pair came out onto the final piece of double track before the finishing single track, Rob was just able to squeeze past Jon on the inside of a corner.  No-where to pass from then on, it came to a sprint of equal power to the finish line, and 3rd place for Jon.

Now it’s time to prepare for the final bits of racing for the season, and then prepare for Cyclocross this fall!!  Thanks as always go out to our sponsors: Trek Bikes, Hammer Nutrition, ESI Grips and SRAM Components – Buckwallow was a true test of everything we had!!!

Only Trek can make the Best even Better…

Recently, Trek Bikes has released the upcoming Game Changers for 2016 – the all new Madone, Top Fuel and Procaliber bikes.  These are the best bikes in the world, and have been created with years of research and testing, and can only come from Trek.

The all new Madone is an amazing road bike that breaks all the rules of aerodynamics and speed, and looks Wicked Cool too!!

Trek has brought back the Top Fuel and made it even better, upgrading it to a 29er and making it smoother and faster – something that we never thought possible!!

Trek is also taking the IsoSpeed technology into the mountain bike world with the Procaliber – all the responsiveness of a hardtail with a little cushion for the way to the podium!!

Check out these videos, and look for them at your local Trek Store… or on the road and trails!!

Trek Canada – “Hammering” for 8hrs!!

The Epic 8hr Relay race from Pulse Racing is always a great time and a chance to remember the Fun aspect of racing that we sometimes overlook as we study wattage, heart rates and strength-to-weight ratios over the course of the year.

8hr Trek House

Trek is now the Title Sponsor of the summer and fall events, providing Demo Bikes, draw prizes and support to racers at the event.  We even had a new 2016 Madone on Display (commence drooling now….)

8hr Madone

With perfect weather (for most of the day…) it was a full start line as Trek Canada put together a stong team of Adam, Peter, Jon and Sarah Fabbro from the Trek Barrie Store team (Soren was back on her bike after her Nationals Crash but riding for fun rather than speed).  Adam started us off and burned up the track with the fastest lap of the day – taking advantage of the clear track and his crazy 25min power.  Another set of strong laps by Peter, Jon and Sarah got us the early lead, but we had challengers who were looking to take a piece of our Thunder, so it was work all day long as we settled into our Double Laps to provide the Team with a chance to rest and prep for our efforts.  It was a close finish, but Jon got us back with a bit of a lead, Sarah did her best to hold off her chasers, and Peter went out on the last lap with a 1min gap – and not many people are going to take 1min out of Peter when he’s going full speed!!

8hr PG Air

At the end of the day, and after a quick rain storm to break the heat and pack down the dust, it was Top Step for Trek Canada, and a great day of racing and laughs as a Team.

8hr Podium Selfie

Aside from the racing, it was great to see Hammer Nutrition spend the day at the race with their Big Rig – talking nutrition and fuelling to racers who wanted to learn how to improve their fitness, recovery and racing.  A huge Thanks goes out to Ryan Corry for taking such good care of Trek Canada and helping us all perform at our best.  It’s easy to perform well when we fuel well with Hammer Products!!

8hr Hammer

It was a great day on the bikes and representing Trek Canada and Hammer Nutrition, and a big Thanks also goes out to Barry “The Man” Near for his tireless work in supporting the Team and the sport…. We love you Barry!!

8hr BN

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!!