Monday, August 9, 2010


Well I am Healing.  Which is good, but it takes time which is boring.   Months ago I had planned to move home in august.  Flights had been booked in advance, and for better or for worse, I was flying home coincidentally one week after breaking some bones.  The way I was feeling I was glad to be home, and to reduce the stress.  I still have some legal agendas to take care of, and lots of beurocratic paperwork to be dealt with.  At this point the outcome looks rather neutral for me.

I am at the point in the recovery process where one feels as though they should be back to normal.  However I do not have a lot of "action" in my right arm.  Still very sore to move it around, so best for me to keep resting.  It seems that my season is winding down, ending on an injury is not exactly a high note.  It seems I will be spending August on the sidelines.

I have only been home now for a couple days but I felt very strongly that I would like to go to Moose Jaw to watch the Saskatchewan Provincial Championships.  I wanted to show my support and respect for the race and its champions.  It proved to be a good weekend and the racers showed what grit they were made of.  In the Youth Categories my Brother Lukas placed 2nd in both the Time Trial and Road Race.  This was his first road bicycle race ever and I was very proud of him.

The Elite Provincial Championship was as always highly coveted and hotly contested.  On Saturday the Elite raced a 15km Individual Time Trial.  With the temperature in the 30's and and an unforgiving cross wind Bradley Clifford of Regina road with impressive strength and unwavering focus.  He captured the Elite Provincial Time Trial Title in a note-worthy time of 19:44.  Brad Clifford has been racing for ERTC while basing his training out of Regina.

The next day was scheduled the Provincial Road Race Championships.  This is as they say "the big one".  This trophy has a long list of strong riders associated with it.  Including many who stepped up their game to race at the Highest levels in North America and in Europe.  All things considered the race course was flat, with some undulation.  Once again the Heat and the strong winds would play a factor.  As the race played out it was oddly reminiscent of the closing kilometres of this years tour of flanders.

There was some notable attacks mid race.  With Stephen Cooley (Bike Doctor Saskatoon) riding aggressively  and Lincoln Lu (Cycledelia) going on a daring solo attack.  With nearly 60km remaining Lincoln lit up the race only to be swept up by the Elite chasing group of seven with some 30km remaining.  The race now contained Christian Jensen (Bike Doctor), Pedro Peralta-Elgueta (Off Road Syndicate?), Stephen Cooley (Bike Doctor Saskatoon), Jeremy Trask (Off Road Syndicate), Lincoln Lu(Cycledelia), Dalton Fayad (Regina Multisport), Bradley Clifford (ERTC) and Chrstopher McGarity(Garneau Evolution).

Using the valley as a spring board Chris McGarity attacked closely marked by Brad Clifford and Jeremy Trask.  The Trio had only several meters as they turned onto the exposed cross wind section.  Clifford and McGarity drilled it on the cross wind expanding their advantage.  Trask struggled to maintain the pace and came off under the pressure of these two finely tuned jet engines.  This was IT!  With 25km remaining  McGarity and Clifford rode away from all others as if they are Boonen and Cancellara.

Pedal for Pedal, McGarity (Garneau Evolution) and Clifford (ERTC) flew through the final lap.  Coming up the valley with 2km to go, both riders at their maximum trying to force the pace up the hill.  The speed was impressive, rivalling that of a flat road.  Finally Brad Clifford summoned the strength to stand over the top of the climb.  In a few quick pedal strokes Clifford managed to eek a gap between himself and McGarity.  As they turned onto the crosswind Clidfford pressed his advantage.  Powering through the next kilometre Brad stifled a smile with 500m to go.  Inside 200m a glance over the shoulder, followed by the zipping of his jersey and hands in the air.  Seconds later Chris McGarity crossed the line applauding his rival and close friend.

I do wish that I had been able to race and to contest this Provincial Championship.  I cannot help but feel proud for these two athletes who have grown through this sport with me.  This was a superb victory for Brad and Chris showed that he is a great champion as well.  Both Chris and Brad are becoming what you might call next level.

The top three was rounded out by Christian Jensen (Bike Doctor Saskatoon).  From a hard charging chase of three Christian out-sprinted Pedro Peralta-Elguata (Off Road Syndicate) and Dalton Fayad (Regina Multisport)

1. Bradley Clifford (ERTC)    
2. Christopher McGarity (Garneau Evolution)     +0:55
3. Christian Jensen (Bike Doctor Saskatoon)       +4:37

Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

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