|The final descent - you can see the start on the right and the quick left to the finish at the end of lake|
|1st quick descent and climb|
|Descent and climb #2 pure evil - the climb is in distance|
A right hand sweep again drops you into the last major climb before the finish. Again the climb is 14% for about 3/4 mile. Exiting the climb and sweeping to the left gives you the fastest descent, again over 40mph, past the start line and a fight to get position for the finishing climb. This is done 6 times unless you are lapped then you get one less! Everyone in the race finishes on the lead lap.
|Descent and climb #3 absolute hell|
Weather for the race:
10 am start 40 degrees at start warmed to 60 degrees by finish, Sun, wind at 25-30 mph out of the South
Cat 4 group 15 riders
The race as I saw it:
Connor and I arrived early and were able to ride 2 laps prior to the race start. He had been battling a chest cold for the past two days and both Kerrie and I knew this may not be a good race. Connor has also been doing a new structured workout leaving him with some new pains and soreness, though when questioned he said he was fine. As for me the warm-up was not entirely reassuring. I am in the midst of Ironman training which is now 6 weeks away and could really feel the heaviness in my legs. It was a day for both Connor and I where the heart and head were willing but the body was not.
|Connor not, so happy..|
I crossed the line, near the front end of the group and I began to look for Connor to make sure he was with me. I did not see him in the group. He crested off the last wheel and was clearly struggling. I dropped back and quickly found he and I chasing once again. I tried to stay steady and keep him on my wheel to bring him back to the group. Through the sharp left turn, we began the mission to get into the group. For the next 1.5 miles we chased finally catching him up into the group before the first fast descent. That is when I heard the sound. Much like a toilet bowl flushing. Coming out of the first climb Connor was struggling to breathe and was unable to hold position in the group.
|The finishing climb - post race|
Connor and I had a good talk following the race. We try to take lessons to build and keep life in focus. We crossed the line with smiles and finished safely. On paper he beat me to the line but I don't care about the finish. We spoke briefly about my jump at the start, he wasn't happy with it, but forgave me.
Connor is just starting his journey this season. He will get stronger, healthier, and smarter. He has his goals and it is races like this that he will draw upon to strengthen his resolve. Kent Park ate us up. I spent another 45 minutes just riding to finish some extra training, while Connor changed and recovered. Congratulations to all finishers on a tough course, on a tough day.
Connor's power profile below