Sunday morning brought better weather and the famed Bastion Square criterium in
downtown Victoria. With several of our riders holding 'hometown' rights, we were
looking for the win as a team. The 60 km race was fast and furious - a technical
900m course meant that a breakaway was likely to lap the field if it was left
unchecked. We held an aggressive strategy - with Nic and Tyler as our protected
riders we were going to drive a break with either of them in it and go for the
win. The course was initially dry but some mid race showers brought chaos in the
corners, bringing down a large number of riders in crashes. Unfortunately this
was the case for Nic. With the number of laps ticking down and the pack not
letting anything move off the front, we keyed up for a pack sprint for Tyler.
Late race attacks by Total Restoration riders were kept in check by Matt, Dan
and myself and Tyler lined up with two to go behind a charging H&R Block. Coming
into the finish, Tyler railed the final corner and launched his powerful
finishing kick to take the win in front of a hometown crowd.
Photo courtesy: Caity Muc
It’s a rolling course that follows the coast past Jordan River, then a u-turn back to Sooke. The race was aggressive from the start with Erinne Willock attacking on most of the climbs. Leah put in some hard efforts making the early moves. Total Restoration was very motivated to chase these moves down, so we rode as a pack to the turn-a-round. Shani unfortunately got caught up in a crash and had to leave the race. Courtney also had some bad luck and flatted early on, not to mention she is still recovering from a few broken ribs. Shortly after the commotion of the crash Leah and two other Total Restoration girls got away.
Coming out of Jordon River there is quite a substantial climb and naturally the pack split up. I managed to be in a group with Erinne W, Amy D, and Jasmine after the climb. After the efforts of mainly Erinne and Amy we bridged to the break. Now the race was getting fun! I was feeling pretty good, as I had just taken a coke from Paulie Skinner who waited for us in the pouring rain. How nice! The break was working well together and we managed to be a safe distance from the charging pack. Leah and I both then had a very rough moment as Erinne attacked the break and we both got dropped. Whoops! We managed to keep on rolling to the finish ahead of the main group finishing 6th and 7th. Erinne took the jersey with no surprise there!
Next up was a team dinner hosted by former Trek Red Truck team member Dave Brooks at Earls, or as the boys like to call it “Jakes.” We may have stayed up a little too late, but it didn’t affect our performance at the Bastion Square Grand Prix the following afternoon. The women’s race consisted of 45 laps in downtown Victoria and I managed to make the break of four other women. We rode well together and eventually lapped the field. Leah and Annie finished at the front of the pack sprint. Our breakaway group then had to ride around for another three laps as the pack exited the race. Leah Guloien of Total Restoration won the race and I was a little impatient and wasted some energy in the final laps and came in 5th. All in all it was a successful weekend for the women’s team.