Wednesday, November 21, 2007

East Coast Assault

Ups and downs. Racing is always a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Some races (Ok maybe only 1-2 a year) come together absolutely perfectly. Great fitness, superstar legs, no mechanicals, race strategy execution and most importantly, results. The problem with hitting one of these oh so sweet races is that the not-so-perfect races that follow, suddenly grate on you. You think you have finally figured out the secret recipe to success only to find out it was just a fluke. So many pieces to the puzzle. But I guess if we could just BUY the recipe it wouldnt be fun anymore....My Nationals race was my perfect race and I guess if I should ask for a perfect race I should hope that its a big one. But it can only mean that I was bound for some sub-standard races on the horizon.

Toronto Pro Am UCI races

After recovering from my belly bug, I headed back east to support the 2nd and 3rd Canadian UCI races in Toronto. It was the best way to figure out how much damage the sickness had done, pick up a few UCI points for my euro assault in Dec and get me race ready for the USGP in New Jersey the following weekend. The BONUS was that my brother and his family live outside Toronto and my parents were planning to come up from Ottawa to visit. (I think they have given up on me actually coming to Ottawa since there are no big MTB or CX races in the area).

I didnt put too much pressure on myself for the Toronto races as I wanted to see how I felt after my first hard effort in a week. But my brother was watching (with critical coaches eyes), and my niece and nephew were there too so I wanted to put on a bit of a show for them and the rest of the Simms fans. I was called up first but was given the crappy rhubarb spot on the far left - what the hell was that? Is that anyway to treat your #1?? I took off fast and lead the race from start to finish. I am not going to lie to you, my legs felt like poo but it was a good ego boost to win again and put on a show for the family. Day 2 was pretty similar except for my pre-race routine. I was at the local rink at 8am to watch the Oro Thunder 8 year olds (my nephew icluded) play hockey. There we were: me, my brother, my parents, (probably one of the only Canadian families not have spent their childhood in a hockey rink) cheering from the bench. A week visiting, training and going over plans/ideas for the rest of the cross season and the upcoming MTB season was a great come back week. It was no single speed cyclocross world championship golden speedo like Barry Wicks had added to his resume that weekend (!) but I was ready for the next USGP.

USGP New Jersey races
I headed down to New Jersey and met Norm on the plane. We flew into Philly (one of the ugliest cities I have ever seen) and met the Kona crew in NJ. I was pretty uninspired pre-riding the course, lots of grass and lots of straight aways but I was trying to stay positive. At least they had a big sand pit to spice things up. I had #2 for the weekend but first call up with Katie Compton (Spike Shooter) away racing in europe. I was racing well, in the hunt for the 3rd place battle with half a lap to go when my tubular rolled right off. I tried and tried to get it back on but after a minute started running, running, running. I was lucky we had such a big gap on the next group. Thats not to say they didn't pass me.... it just means I had some time to play with. I grabbed my Queen Ann pit bike and chased and evaded. I couldnt catch the girls that had passed me but I did manage to ward off a big group of girls gunning for me from behind. 9th in the end. Could have been worse but there goes my freebie drop race with 3 races still left in the series.

Day 2 was better...sort of. It had rained all night so the course was quite a bit greasier and they had made a few changes so the course was a bit twistier. No mechanicals but another 4th place - and you KNOW how I feel about 4th places! I had a great start and got away with the key players: Georgia Gould (Luna), Lyne Bessette (, Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain) and Rachel Lloyd (Proman/Paradigm). I even got away with Lyne when Georgia hit the dirt on a greasy corner. But Georgia charged back on and caught Lyne, dropping me in the process. That left me with Alison Sydor who, with her experience always manages to use me, chew me up and spit me out. In other words I tow her around the race course and then she jumps me in the last lap to take the last podium spot. I know she is bound to do this but I was so close to catching Lyne in second place (only 4 seconds ahead!!) I had to stop worrying about what was on my ass and focus on trying to close the gap to Lyne. But.... I ran out of race, Alison jumped me through the pits and I ended up fourth - AGAIN. $#%@!!


erikv said...

Thanks for the great write up. We should have some more greasy course for you here in Portland. Good luck with the rest of your season!

Wendy Simms said...

Thanks Erik! It always feels like you are the only one suffering....You guys put on a great show. W.