Well whats to say. The race was 44.8km in length. Located in the country side south of Hamilton, the course fits no definition of the word flat. The course was either up or down. Elevation change came in the form of climbs, punchy rollers and faux plates. The effort was more like a fartlek than a controlled burn.
Mother Nature was not without her say either. Dark clouds rolled around and over head all morning. The rain had held off for all the early starters. Just before the third and final wave of racers started the sky opened up. I was treated to a good soaking while warming up. It was a warm rain and was over in 20min, so no bother. It was the follow up wind that really had an effect on the final starters.
The course changed directions 6 times and moved between wooded areas and open meadows. This treated us to tailwinds head winds and crosswinds. With all the broad aerodynamic gear the crosswind was considerably distracting. I was told after the race by my director sportif that he had never seen someone leaning so hard into a side wind and that several times I skipped several inches to the side.
Going into the second lap created a unique mental challenge. In one split second there was self doubt. In my minds eye I cast it to the side of the road like a useless bidon. I knew full well what was coming and I wanted to raise the bar on the second go around. My splits where identical. I did not slow, but damn did it feel harder the second go around.
I was gunning for a Top five finish in the espoir category. This was a very tangible goal. However in the end it did not materialize. My final placing was 7th in the espoir category and 16th in the Senior category, in which espoirs are included. I am not disappointed with my result, but I cannot help to want more from myself.
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Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.