Mosport Classic O-Cup #1 Recap
MAR 30, 2018 // Mosport Classic was the first Ontario Cup of the year and going into it, like everyone else, I was unsure on how my early season was going. The numbers were looking good, but it was about putting them down in the race where it mattered. So, going into this race I was very open minded and with only the four of us racing the day, I was happy to try and put one of us on the box. In typical Canadian fashion, the day was very cold and windy which was perfect for me because I had been riding with frozen toes for weeks prior. I knew the day was going to be about nutrition - since it was almost zero degrees, I’d be running like a furnace so eating lots would help me in the end.
I took to the start thinking about just saving as much energy as possible as it would be a three hour race. It was also it was the first race back of the season, so I didn’t want to be like everyone else and throw down a little flex first lap up the climb. I sat in near the front and let everyone do there thing without missing anything important.
It was around the third lap where things got super fast paced and I thought it would be perfect to throw down a counter attack. Turns out BENOÎT BOULAY and I got into the break of the day which was perfect. We rolled around doing our share and with around 10 laps to go I found myself off the front with Gaelen Merritt - a strong rider who was one of the guys we were really watching on the day. I was again just doing enough to stay away and make the selection of guys behind us work. We got reeled back on the second last lap right before the climb.
At this point it was a group of six, including a strong sprinter, Ed Veal, who we also had to watch. I knew we had to hit it on the climb, so things wouldn’t come down to a bunch. Apparently Gaelen was thinking the same as he attacked along the top of the climb! I jumped out of the group and followed - we already had a 20s gap with one lap to go. I heard my girlfriend scream at me to win as I went by, which was surprising because I hadn’t heard her cheering all race - it got me super fired up and then thought to myself; hmm I could win this thing.
We went into the climb with still a solid gap and I was waiting for him to throw down an attack, but he kept it steady and I was licking my lips for a sprint finish. At around 500m to go he was pulling and he started to attack - this was weird because it was almost like he was leading me out. When we hit the corner it was 250m to go and I saw a shadow charging from behind, so I opened the sprint up early and didn’t look back. I then took my first Elite Ontario Cup win! Turns out it was BENOÎT who was charging but I had no idea!
I want to thank my friends and family for all the support and Toronto Hustle for having me back for another amazing season!
P.S. Remember to eat timbits the day before the race, it’s great for carb loading!