This blog post has a touch of irony. Eric had sent a draft of a blog, written about his experience at the Steve Bauer Classic. As you will find out, the conclusion left Eric less than satisfied. Despite that, within 24 hours, he accomplish a massive goal that had been eluding both the team and himself. Anyone that has ridden with or against Eric knows that this result has been a long time coming, the guy lays it on the line at every opportunity and does not shy away from hitting the wind. So grab some couch, crack an adult pop and enjoy.The following are Eric's words from the road.
Steve Bauer/ Niagara Classic is not only the hardest circuit on the Ontario Cup calendar but also one of the most prestigious. I have lined up at Niagara classic several times previous to 2017, most of which have gone extremely poorly. Prior to last season I was on the cusp of boycotting Niagara forever (I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one). Last year I surprised myself and rode the breakaway all day before being caught in the closing stages of the race.
In the days leading up to the race my good friend, and co-worker Trevor O’Donnell and I talked a big game to each other on how were both going to “roll that f@$*ing early break ”, as I made fun of him for driving several Timbits into him, which he believes make him go faster. Reflecting on this I knew I wanted to be in an early move but so do the rest of the guys on the start line (way easier said than done), it seems a trend has formed between the early break and chances of winning in the recent O-Cup races…. go figures. Based on my season so far I thought the chances of me making a winning break were quite frankly, slim, but regardless I was going to go for it.
Breakaway at the Steve Bauer Classic (Ivan Rupes Photography)
Last season the break went on sailor’s hill at the end of the first lap, so I figured nothing would stick on the flats on lap one, so I sat at the back until we got close to the end of the lap. The course this year was a throwback to the older course going farther down the hill and adding some sustained elevation that softens up the peloton before the steep section of sailors climb. Right after the chicane like downhill Bruce Bird opened it up on the climb with a couple myself and a couple Toronto Hustle rides in pursuit. I looked back and could not see the peloton and noticed Trevor was one of the Hustle riders - I made sure to mention, “yo we made the fucking break” (must have been those Timbits). I felt right at home in our break of 8, as 3 of us came down the 400 that morning from Barrie (Trevor, Matt staples and I), so it was nice to spend a day suffering with some very familiar faces.
Anyway I could talk more about my minute per minute recap of my race but honestly it was pretty straightforward, Matt Staples, Mr. Bird, Yuri Hyrcaj, Trevor and Benoit Boulait drove the breakaway as Jordann Jones and I skipped several turns. This continued until I cramped and could no longer hold pace, as my fitness simply is not at the level of my breakaway companions. However I do heavily appreciate the riders not getting too upset with my lack of contribution, as I simply didn’t have the stuff.
At the end of the day the cards didn’t exactly play out for me, but I was in the right spot, and can take that as a positive. Congrats to my old teammate Jordann for taking the win, and lastly I’m contemplating getting myself on the Timbit train as maybe that’ll keep me from getting dropped next time.
Simon & Eric in the chase group at the Honda Crit
Cat 1/2 Men's podium at the Honda Crit
No you aren't dreaming... That is a photo of me on a podium. After last weekends step in the right direction, I finally was able to take the next step (literally). Honda Crit hosted a smaller field than normal, but with Jordann Jones on the form of his life, we knew that the day wouldn't be a walk in the park. This day was also the first race with the newest member of the squad. Welcome Aryton, he isn't only a friendly face, but also our in house CFA (now taking appointments for retirement plans).
I will keep this short, as by now I am sue you are sick and tired of reading my nonsense ( or your beer may be about empty by now). Long story short, I was able to put it out there and laid it on the line in the closing stages of the race and it FINALLY paid off. It's funny, we always thought of Jordie (Jordann Jones) as the little junior, but he is little Jordie no longer. Not sure if it is the Timbits, or beer, but I think Jordie needs some of that to even the playing field.
With provincials just around the corner, we are hoping that this result may be a sign of things to come. Also update on the Timbit count, Simon has fully adopted the diet as he is experiencing one of the many benefits/curses of working in a Tim's friendly work environment. Stay tuned to see whether that ship sinks or sails this weekend.
Closing kilometers of Honda Crit (Ivan Rupes Photography)