April 26 Tues Night Teaser East
Two brave riders battling the wind – Oleg K and Craig dG. Went to the mine and back and that was enough!
May 3 One group North
Great to be racing again as the season kicked off with a BANG last night. Most of the riders were Group A types so I made the call to roll out as one group. On “first half of first lap,” Oleg laid down a stinger on the short climb which resulted in about a 1/3 of riders saying bye bye. Six riders remained in lead group and for remainder of race, the pace varied a lot as did the wind direction and speed. Lead group stayed together until about 2km from finish when the accelerations really went into 5th gear. This resulted in Whitey and I getting dropped.
May 10 Team Night East
Cancelled due to rain
May 17 Reverse Pursuit West
Small turnout last night but all quality riders. We had a tail/cross wind riding west and south to Vanscoy so the pace was fast and the group rode echelon really well together with everyone contributing.
Once we turned around at Hwy 7, we had a stiff cross/head wind heading north which slowed the pace to about 35kph and made positioning in the group key. We were still together (despite some stingers from Chris Wall) at the turn east to finish line. At that point, it was now a cross/head wind coming from riders left so it made for some perfect gutter riding. The elastic snapped for Deven and I about 2km past the turnoff. Oleg, Chris and Fergus raced together to the finish.
All in all, it was great night to dust off the cobwebs in terms of remembering how to race smart in a pack while contending with strong cross and tail winds. Great to see Chris out again as he brings tons of power to our races…especially coming off a XC ski seasons where he raced World Masters games. Deven took home a few good tips (lol) and a jab from me that he should be beating me since he’s twenty yrs younger !
1. Fergus English
2. Oleg Kougiya
3. Chris Wall
4. Blair Chapman
5. Deven Stewart
May 24 Reverse Pursuit North
Cancelled due to the thunderstorm
May 31 Aussie Pursuit East
June 7 Team Night West
June 14 Criterium North
All smiles last night on what was a really fun race. Thanks to Chris Veeman’s suggestion, we decided to race on the Crit course (just off Wanuskewin road) under sunny skies and a solid East wind.
We warmed up for a couple laps then raced for 40 min plus 3 laps. Chris was at finish line calling the Prime laps. Luka won most of them with Oleg slipping in to take one.
Results are as follows:
**Chris White – honorable mention to Whitey who rode the triple header….100K club ride Sat., 100K Detours gravel Sunday and Tues nighter. Rest up marathon man.
June 21 Aussie Pursuit East Summer Solstice - club BBQ following race
Very friendly and warm social at Peter`s house after the race. Cold drinks, homemade pizza and fantastic stories of European races of Lukas C concluded the night!
June 28 Reverse Pursuit North
July 5 Team Night West
It was a classic Tues nighter on West course thanks to a stiff cross wind. We had one group roll out at the start with several riders exiting the plane within minutes. The five riders listed below plus Alex Rybach remained. Lukas set the pace up front at 50kph with a strong tail wind taking us to the turn. Once we headed south, wind was from riders left so finding draft if you weren't in the "number two or three slot" was brutal. Lots of gutter riding and at that point Alex fell off. The group stayed in tact to Hwy #7 then did u-turn and headed north. Lukas made several hard attacks which left Whitey counting cows and eventually I was shelled. Whitey and I got hung up by a train at which point Alex caught up. The three of us worked together into a strong head wind to finish line with Whitey taking me at the line.
Oleg's report (last 13km):
Turning into the wind, we almost came to a standstill a couple times because Devin and myself weren't able and didn't want to do any work. Lukas would try to escape and after the third time closing the gap I prayed for him to stop and just tow us to the finish line. We picked up Scott and Phil within last 5K to go as well. I tried to catch Devin and Lukas with surprising early attack, did not succeed and just witnessed Lukas going around Devin on the last 25 meters.
Results are as follows:
July 12 Aussie Pursuit East
Strong turn out last night with toasty weather. Wind picked up throughout the afternoon making for solid cross winds and a tail wind finish. We decided to try "Aussie pursuit" so I numbered off riders. Group 1 was to ride north at the mine while group 2 went south. We all rode neutral to the mine from start line then the split happened. A few riders turned the wrong direction so groups were a bit uneven. Further, a number of riders dropped off; therefore, Group 1 (Mike, Deven, Oleg) rode a majority of the race with three riders. Group 2 maintained five riders despite my barking to hold the speed so we would stay together. Lol. Lukas decided to ride solo in order to get a better TT workout.....and still won.
Results are as follows (no points awarded this week):
July 19 Reverse Pursuit North
14 riders gathered up on the start line, eight went off as an A group with the need to win more than five minutes on the B squad. Crosswind and strong legs pushed the average speed over 44k an hour on the way out, the headwind on the way back dropped the average just slightly below forty. Jason T and Peter S decided to suffer with the B group which eventually benefited that pack a lot.
Going out on lap three Mike G launched an epic attack which resulted in Devin S and Chris White being eliminated from the leader's group. Only three riders left, Chris Wall was dropped with another attack from Mike on the home stretch. It did take me over eleven hundred watts just to bridge up to Mike. Chris was making a very strong efforts to rejoin us but the finish line was too close. Sprinting up the hill was more like my territory rather than Mike's but crossing the finish line first did not mean much for me untill I would know the gap behind.
And... the gap was 5 minutes 20 seconds to Rommel R who finished first of the B group. That did mean that the A group lost by 40 valuable seconds.
Results. Only three riders of the B pack completed whole course so points were given to fastest A's as well.
July 26 Reverse Pursuit East
I don't know where the club members were, but they definitely missed a good race night.
Nine people lined up at the start, four went ahead as a scratch group, five followed as B group with four minutes handicap given to them.
Winds were tough, crosswind on the way to the mine, straight tailwind on the way to Clavet and very very unpleasant headwind all the way to highway five. Group A agreed to work together a bit better than we did last week, whether our B group comrades did drop a few riders quickly and ended up with only three people.
On the way back, going up the mine hill Mike G launched a stinging attack which resulted in Chris Wall being dropped. Apparently, Mike and Devin were going for a KOM, I was just trying to survive...
Another attack from Mike about two kilometers before finish line killed our good rotation and the sprinters games started. Predictably, sprint was won by Devin S with myself being very close but not close enough.
As five minutes passed, which meant that the A group won, 40 seconds after that the B groupers went for a sprint finish which resulted in Tim P snatching the last point of the night.
38.5K/hr average speed
August 2 Team Night North
Due to high winds and the potential for more rain, the race tonight is cancelled.
August 9 One group North
Sunny warm skies and a decent north wind greeted approx. 10 riders at the North course last night.
Shortly after north end turnaround, aided by a solid tail wind, Fergus hit the throttle and established a decent gap on us. Oleg, Mike and myself formed what was the chase group. Oleg and Mike took the majority of pulls while I contributed when I wasn’t hypoxic. The gap held at approx. 10-20 sec to Fergus for all of lap 2. By the start of lap 3, we realized he wasn’t getting reeled back so the pace eased up slightly. Obviously not enough since I was dropped at the north turnaround on third lap. Mike and Oleg raced for second/third while I rode in solo for fourth. Behind me was Brian riding solo followed by Deven and Christian.
Super impressive ride by Fergus…holding the gap on us to win the Tues Nighter. Certainly the most impressive ride of the year in my books and his strong form (coming off the Belgium trip) was on full display last night. Big thanks to my bride Tara for volunteering to drive. Afterwards she declared “I’m never driving again. It’s too stressful watching.”
August 16 One group East
Some of the guys had done a race in Edmonton while others had sore legs from racing Frank Dunn triathlon but the fatigue played no excuse as there were some spicy attacks on the way to Vanscoy. Mike launched a good number of strong attacks which were neutralized by the rest of the wheel suckers. Deven tried a solo breakaway which lasted about 10 minutes and then was brought back. Tim put a show of his form coming back. Those attacks almost made me quit on the spot but I decided to extend the torture and stayed intact with the group.
On the way back we were rewarded with an attack from Jason and another couple power bursts from Mike and Deven. Mike perfectly timed his pulls when I tried to have a drink. Four times in a row. First pull from Christian resulted in an almost missed turn. We've been racing this course for years but being redlined still can throw a guy off I guess.
Finish straightaway was brutal. Yo-yo speeds from 30 to 50kph. Everyone tried to attack but no one could last long enough to snap the elastic. Finish line was in close sight when Christian went for it. Deven had to follow, but it was a bit early. Christian faded while Deven was still acceleratting like a mad man. Using Christian's draft and hearing Jason's breathing right behind me I had no choice but to go for the finish line. I knew I had legs for one burst and was just hoping that Deven would fade a little bit closer to the finish. The line was coming and we were wheel to wheel but my luck was better by half a wheel.
37 kph average speed
August 23 Reverse Pursuit North
August 30 Tues Nighter World Champs
Perfect race conditions met a small group on the East course last night for what was the final race of the 2022 season. The pace to mine turnoff was gentle which kept the group together. Then a few hard attacks by Mike caused the elastic band to snap and several riders got dropped. All was going well until we started the hill climb heading south towards the mine. Mike attacked from the back of group. Deven got out of the saddle and stomped hard on the pedals, only to have his back wheel come out of the frame. He immediately hit the deck hard. The race was stopped and eventually Deven was safely taken back to the city by Malcolm.
Update this morning from Deven:
First, thanks for everyone’s support last night. My head and neck are fine. Went to the Mediclinic this morning. One small break in my left wrist and I am in a hard cast for now. He wants to x-ray again in a week and then hopefully put a removable cast on. Nothing broken on the right shoulder but he said grade one shoulder separation so I’ll need some Physio for that. Good news is all the carbon on my bike appears intact for when I can ride again!
At this point, we ended the race and rode in neutral. Sadly no points awarded and certainly a disappointing end to the season. On the other hand, we’re all happy Deven walked away from his spill with a few laughs.
Riders in group when race was stopped:
Congratulations to Oleg , the 2022 winner of the Tues Nighter overall trophy. Your consistent hard work and strong finish sprint earned you the trophy this year.