Wrapping up the 2018 Road Season
In my sophomore year of racing, I never thought I would jump up a few categories. By the end of that season, I would have never considered being able to finish a race with the likes of Ryan Roth, Jeff Schiller and a litany of other Canadian elite cyclists. That all happened on Labour Day weekend in Windsor.
My first road race ever was Good Friday, April 2017 when Marty said "You should do the Good Friday Road Race" and me, being the incredibly naive person I am, agreed. I managed to get a mandatory upgrade out of the Cat 4 carnage by the last race of the season which was 2017's edition of Tour di via Italia, the fastest four corner criterium in Ontario. Finishing 23rd overall (out of a field of 43) wasn't anything to write home about, but I was certainly hooked.
Fast forward to the 2018 season where Marty was nice enough to get me invited to the outfit he races with (Southpoint Racing). I was pretty stoked, they had a number of E3/E4 racers that could do some serious damage. And then they decided to almost all go to M1. Surprise double upgrade!
Brief aside for those not familiar with bike racing in Ontario:
The Masters cycling ranks are for those riders in their 35th year or older. The typical transition from E3 would have been to M2, where you could perhaps win a race or two and then optionally take and upgrade to M1. Masters Category 1 racing is basically where all the Elite people go when they can only dedicate 16 hours a week to training, as opposed to 20+. I was in over my head.
This year's campaign was wrought with learning opportunities. When you can't ride an unorganized field off your wheel and the guys you're racing against have decades of experience, you learn fast.
The 2018 Campaign in Pictures
Major takeaway from the whole year: The mental part of racing needs a lot of work. People like Russ, Marty and Jeff have this in spades and it comes from experience. So... more racing required.
Now, on to CX...