Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Race Report & Pics: Coconut Cup 2014 #5 - Markham

Where has the time gone??? Feels like it was just New Years Eve and now the Coconut Cup has ended and I'm 3 race reports behind! So here we go with Coconut Cup 2014 # 5 at Markham!!

After some dreary weather home races, the day was perfect for a race. The Markham Park Trail Builders had laid out another unique route as they've been recently doing, which kept racers on their toes, just different enough to ruin the muscle memory, but still making it a great Markham course. Boyco, Eric N and myself would be participating in this one with Alex still dealing with a wrist issue.

Eric G grabs the holeshot
Having been mired at the tail end of the Sport class all season, it's been tough. I can say after figuring out my back issues, the form was slightly improving and I was at least fighting it out for some position instead of dangling solo for most of the race. I was feeling particularly spy this weekend and decided it was time for me to take a flyer. Instead of racing smart, I was going to see what my body really had in it. Lined up with my 14 closest race buddies, I waited for that starting whistle. The next minute was somewhat of a blur, but after clipping in quickly and giving a few cranks I was off the line and pulling hard. Unwise? Probably. Fun?? Absolutely! Said it before and will say it again. Scott Spark + Twinlock locked out = FAST. I was ripping down the start stretch with a gap that I couldn't believe. I peered back to the whole group about 3 lengths away. I just kept at it till realizing that realistically, I was going to have to get out of the way pretty soon. Fun as I was having, I didn't want slow these guys up once we hit the trail. I managed to let two series leaders by me just as we entered the trail. I kept a harder than usual pace going for some time, but still let riders pass me as I needed. Everyone gave me kudos for the great start, but I was happy to let them by without holding them up. I'll admit, it hurt. I probably shot my race right there, but it was fun to go for it a little bit after this tough season. I was pretty cooked after just my first lap and settled in to a steady pace. At the end of the day I wound up 11th. Best result on the season, but admittedly had lady luck on my side with a few mechanicals knocking out two riders in my class. But hey, that's racin' and I'll take it!
The Boyco grabs 4th for the podium

Boyco was up in the way too fast Sport 19-29 class. Thankfully he rode a smarter race and after a brief stint with the race leaders he settled in to his own pace. The usually technically savvy Boyco however had a couple of tumbles and lost some time to the 2nd level of riders. Despite the troubles his pace was good enough to land him in 4th place on the day and on the podium. The new guy made us proud and brought home a medal at his second race since joining us.
Eric Norris was up next in XC3 30+. For once it was a manageable size field at 24 riders however he got shuffled at the start and wound up in the low teens heading into the trail. Since his change to 650B wheels, I will say his riding seems generally more comfortable. As we chased him around looking for pics it definitley looked that way as he was slowly picking off riders throughout lap 1, coming through in 14th. By now the field had spread, but he continued to press on and reeled in 2 more riders on his second lap. Coming out of the final trail he was just seconds away from another rider in his class. The long flat to the finish would give him the opportunity to lay chase, but the chasee had the same in mind. Eric would just miss out on catching him before the finish section, but still ended up in 12th place for the day.

Tom Mutch would race well for 3rd
The Pro/Expert Field was a small group but provided some exciting battles. From lap on Bob McCarty and Allison Anjos would separate themselves from the field as the guys to beat on this day. Not too far behind though was a small group of chasers in Tom Mutch, Bret Whitman, and Bala Almeida, all of which have been on the podium this season. Any slip by Bob or Allison and they'd have some company. Lap two came around and McCarty and Anjos had no intention of slowing down. Their chasers meanwhile began to fight attrition, with Mutch and Almeida separating themselves from Whitman. Lap after lap though McCarty and Anjos were locked on each others wheels. Pulling away from the field but not being able to shake the other away. Lap three though would make a difference for Mutch where he would hold a pace that Almeida just couldn't match, coming though on lap 3 with nearly a minute lead for third. The leaders would bring it down to the wire with Anjos entering the finishing tape section first and holding off McCarty to take the win. Mutch would continue his excellent pace and finish 3rd on the day.

Trying out something new so check out the pics below, from our Facebook Page

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