Race Report: Devon Grand Prix of Cycling – according to Duncan

It was a rough weekend for me, but a great weekend for the team! Both days had great weather, Saturday was hot and sunny, while Sunday was sunny but cool and windy. Keegan won the bronze cupcake in the crit on Saturday. He was a monster! In the top 5 for just about every lap that I could see. Picked up a point on the first intermediate sprint, was just out of the points on the second, and was second overall on the last lap, pulling a controlled powerslide on the last corner to avoid crashing with the two guys in front of him who went down hard. It was an impressive performance. Jan was there taking pictures and getting psyched for Summerside, so you should get some pics from him. No lie, Keegan actually got a bronze cupcake. It looked delicious. I think a bronze cupcake is my goal for next year.

Keegan Machine Brooks

Podium, Oh Yeah!

Bronze Cupcake!

I on the other hand did not have such an impressive day. After the first lap with the pace car, I felt like I was in great position in the pack, fairly near the front. Kept with it for about 3/4 of the next lap and some guys made a move just before the last corner. I stood up on the cranks to go and felt my right pedal collapse under me. I slowed up immediately and figuratively limped into the start area. From the looks of it, my pedal had somehow loosened itself to the point where only half of the threads were still in the cranks, and when I put significant pressure on it, the threads sheared. I couldn’t even loosen it with my hand so I knew I was out. Really bummed out about it, especially so early in the race. I was itching to still be involved.

Jan says the fact that Keegan finished a race without a mechanical means that he has transferred his bad luck. Unfortunately, my bike was close to his for a good portion of the day and Jan thinks my bike now has Keegan’s bad luck. Great.

So off I went home to see if I could fix the bike for the road race on Sunday. On hindsight I should have stopped to watch the bike biathlon. It sounds like Lesley is a sharpshooter!

I used some WD40 to and a wrench to loosen the pedal, but the threads were shot. I couldn’t get the pedal threads started at all. I ended up taking an old pedal and removing the axle. I ground off the part that you would normally tighten against the crank so that it was narrower than the threads. Then I was able to insert it from the back of the crank and tighten it right through the wrecked threads from the other side. Luckily it worked, it seemed to clean out the wonky threads and I was able to insert the pedal back in. I used a bit of plumbing tape this time to make sure it wouldn’t come loose again.

I was really hoping for better things in the road race on Sunday. Again, bad day for me, but a good day for the team! Lesley pulled out a second place in the woman’s category. (see pic).  I didn’t see much of Stefan, the only time I saw him, he was leading the charge in the cat 1/2 group when I was on my way back.

I really don’t know what happened in the road race, but the end result was me getting dropped very early and (not) enjoying and very lengthy, lonely ride complete with headwind. I got dropped so early that I was out of the race before I had even gone to bed the night before.

Ah, It all happened so fast…. I was mid pack for the first couple of km, then the group hit the first corner and everybody took off. I pulled back to the peloton and was probably one of the last 4 or 5 riders. We hit another corner and again, everybody took off. I think I hesitated a bit, and before I knew it, I found myself back from the group. I knew if I fell off, I would never get back on again so I pushed as hard as I could and it seemed like I was 10 feet behind the last wheel forever. I wasn’t getting any further away, but I wasn’t getting any closer either. All the while I knew I couldn’t sustain the pace I was at and I just blew up. Looking back at my stats, I actually hit 197 on the HRM, so at least I can tell myself I tried, I just didn’t have it that day. I was very frustrated and disappointed. We weren’t even 10 km into the race and I was already done. Especially after my early exit from the race the day before. I thought about just heading back actually. But it was a nice day for a ride so off I went on my own, sadly watching the peloton get further and further away. It was pretty uneventful for the rest of the way. I really didn’t see anyone until close to the turnaround when I saw the guys heading back. Keegan was awesome enough to shout some encouragement. It looked like the main group blew up pretty good on the big hill just before the turnaround.

Coming back, I came across another Cat 5 rider, about 25 km from the finish. As I approached him I had visions of me trying to pass him and him latching on to my wheel resulting in a cat and mouse game of chase all the way to the finish line where we would have a sprint for last place glory in front of hundreds of cheering fans. But as I went by, I could tell he was as po’d about being at the back more than I was and he was in no mood for fun and games. So off I went by myself into the loneliness and crossed the finish line by myself and there were no fans, cheering, booing or otherwise. In fact, I think the finish line monitors had gone for coffee. I stopped to wave at the camera and held up my race number and UCI licence just to make sure they saw that I finished and so they wouldn’t have to send a search party out looking for me.

I keep replaying the day and wondering what I could have done differently. One, um, train harder this winter? Two, from a strategy perspective, probably a good lesson to try and keep in the middle or front of the pack to provide some buffer. After the first corner I worked really hard to get back on the next wheel and pulled a bunch of people along with me. If I had let up a bit and let a couple go by, I might have had a bit of break to recover. But as it stood, by the time I had to chase after the second corner I was already in need of some recovery and couldn’t sustain it.

Was very disappointed with road race as well, and the weekend in general. Those are the breaks I guess! Learn and move on. Still nice to be on a bike in the sun with some good people. All in fun.

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2 responses to “Race Report: Devon Grand Prix of Cycling – according to Duncan

  1. Uh, Joe you were supposed to post the version where I won. Also, I gotta get some charts and stuff like Stefan. Mines so boring and text-y.

  2. Duncan, I can definitely help you with the charts and the training!
    🙂

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