Tuesday May 5, 2015 – East Course • 19ºC Partially cloudy, Wind ENE @ 27 (At 7pm) turning to thunderstorms
A fantastic night (at first) for the first points race of the year, and a large turnout. On this night the forecast called for showers to start later in the evening, closer to midnight… fingers crossed. So after reminders about asking friends and family to volunteer for Bikes on Broadway, and also about the upcoming Pike Lake Roubaix this Sunday, we were underway. For some reason the B group started without the timers ‘go’ after only about a minute; c’mon guys, play ball. Well what’s done is done… so after the usual time gap, the A’s started out on the chase.
What started out as a fairly normal Tuesday Nighter would turn out to be anything but. By the mine turn the pace in the A’s was a little more than hot, and turning south, it just seemed to get faster and faster – topping out at or over 60km/hr in the tailwind. The ensuing carnage told the story, and a painful story it was for everyone. This was possibly as fast as I’ve ever seen on a Tuesday, and by Clavet, the group was decimated, with only a handful or two of riders remaining as we turned back into the wind to make our way north (Granted some bad-ass mo-fo’s were riding after a hard weekend race in Moose Jaw).
A degree of normalcy returned to the race, if only for a short time, as we caught up to the B’s, who had been working steadily, well before the mine, and it was steady rolling through the trailer courts – it was then we noticed the clouds to the south. Probably going to miss us. Right?
As we headed toward the mine, the writing was on the wall as the winds picked up and rain started to fall. As I started to fight to keep my bike in some sort of straight line, or even upright with the wet roads, things were getting ugly. Many had wisely bailed out at the cross-roads earlier, but for those left, there was only one way home – into the eye of the storm! But it never stopped being a race. We all came up the hill to the mine, but the usual attack did not come, with everyone simply happy to be upright and not the victim of a lightning strike.
Speaking of lightning strikes, a few k’s later at about 5k to go, Lucas Morin laid down a strong attack which I tried to jump onto, but he was pulling away. Keeping a steady and high pace, I slowly brought him back, only to have Mark B on my wheel, and Lucas tailing off as we passed. Game. On.
Mark and I worked hard and seemed to be keeping the pack at bay, but with dark clouds behind us and the lights of the car, it was difficult to see exactly what was happening back there. It turns out Chris W had been closing and made it up to us in a massive effort – part man, part beast…. mostly beast. So the three of us worked steadily thinking we were looking at the podium. But around 1 or 2k to go Lucas M was back somehow, magically appearing from the darkness and rain to throw a wrench in our hard-earned works. I started to grey-out a little here, but I recall chasing an attack around 750 to go. In a show of impressive finishing power, Mark and Chris pulled away with Lucas and I gapped by about 50 metres.
It was a very hard finish to a crazy Tuesday Nighter… one that many won’t soon forget, for better or worse!
1) Mark Bouthilette
2) Chris White
3) Lucas Morin
4) Christian Jensen
5) Kevin Williams
Thanks to Karen for driving… hope to see you all on Sunday at Pike Lake, register here: