Post By Phil Elsasser
The Escape Velocity race series up in BC are known to offer some pretty great early season competition on usually interesting circuits with pretty large fields. Today was the first of the series and while the field was a bit smaller than usual there was still the usual contingent of Red Truck, H&R Block, and Rocky Mountain Bikes. The racing started a bit sporadic as the organizers released the much larger B field seemingly seconds after us. With the dangling carrot of the A’s ahead of them the B’s drilled and caught the rather lethargic A field.
The next 10 miles of racing involved us crossing passing and being repassed the B’s until we finally decided if we wanted to race uninterrupted we should simply let them ride up the road. We took a forced nature break and allowed the B’s to ride comfortable away so we could race uninterrupted. Up to that point there had been quite a few moves that looked dangerous, I managed to put myself in every one, knowing that a break seemingly always goes at these races, and almost always sticks.
Post nature break, there was a hard section with some cross winds. We rounded a corner and people were a bit gassed, I attacked and got the gap as another racer bridged up to me. This was about halfway through the race and by this point it was pouring down rain. What would spring racing be in the Northwest without cow crap strewn soaking wet roads? We rolled it pretty well and seemingly were putting good time into the field. We never got a good time check or even a line of sight as the course was covered in small groups of riders dropped out of the other fields. With 2 laps (~12k) to go we rolled through the finish and finally found out the field was actually within sight and we had less than 2o seconds or so on the field. We both looked at each other seemingly both saying in our heads “maybe we will get lucky”. We start riding a bit harder, however the entire race I had been doing the majority of the work in the break and the other guy couldn’t really pick it up too much. We keep the gap somehow and rolled through with 1 to go as the pack was breathing down our necks.
Shortly after a group of 3 bridges up, seemingly going twice as fast as we had been. I jump on, and about three rotations later , no one in the group wants to work. I have been out for a lot longer than my new companions in the break but still feel strong, but not stupid enough to pull them to the finish. I pull through and try to keep things rolling in vain. With about 2k to go I throw in a short acceleration to try to force a small selection and get people rolling again for we are seconds ahead of the field at this point. No such luck, with 1k to go we are caught by the hard charging field setting up for the field sprint. Game over.
I seemingly get in lots of breaks, many times they succeed and others they fail like today. Either way the race showed me I am ready, I have great legs especially considering the huge block I just put in, and the speed needed to succeed this year is on its way. I could not be more excited.