Starting out this year from Beausejour required a little more logistical planning and coordination. RRR's Chief Logistics Officer, Mike, arranged for a flat-bed trailer and a van to get the team to the starting line in time. Thanks, Mike—Coach Dave could learn a thing from Mike about getting to the race on time.
RRR had a strong showing of riders: Mike, Brad, Chris, Gilles, Dennis (all the way from Toronto to join the race), and me. FGBC had a smaller showing, but was pound-for-pound ready for a showdown. Their roster included Paddy and Naomi from Lethbridge, Dr. H., and Cousin Adam.
After a controlled start leading the field out from Beausejour and across Hwy 44, the pace quickened. I eventually found myself passing Lindsay who said "I know what's up ahead. I'm not going to kill myself right now." I started to second-guess myself a bit with as I tried to keep pace with the group, but feeling pretty good (so far), I continued on.
The rest of the race went pretty much as it had in my previous RTB races. Feeling like I was making pretty good time, I found myself at checkstops 1 and 2 wihtout a huge need to stop except to refill the water bottle and grab a banana at checkstop 2. It was shortly after the creek crossing that the deep sand started to wear me down. I wasn't hurting, but there wasn't nearly as much power going into the pedals anymore. Furtunately I happened upon the support vehicle, just a short distance from Hwy 59, as it was trying to make its way to where checkstop 3 was supposed to be. Grabbing a banana, Mike suddenly appeared at my side. Finally someone to ride with!
Mike and I worked together, each taking pulls until we reached the old railroad bed in Belair. Still not quite having the jam to push through the soft sand, Mike pulled ahead...I'd start to catch him every time the ground got less sandy, but there was more sand than hardpack all the way to the Lester Beach end of the Grand Beach course. While I got a second wind on the Grand Beach course, it was too little too late, but it didn't matter...a lawn chair and a cold one were just minutes away.
Final RRR results: 129 points Mike - 7th, KK - 8th, Gilles - 20th, Chris - 25th, Brad - 27th, Dennis - 30th
Final FGBC results: 112 points Paddy - 1st, Dr. H. - 11th, Naomi - 16th, Adam - 34th
The strong showing from FGBC's out-of-towners mitigated the damaged we had hoped to dole out. Yet again our strength in numbers failed to inflict the a mighty blow in the FGD Challenge. It's hard to believe that after all the racing so far this season the clubs are only seperated by 1 point. In two days' time we will wage friendly battle again. "Excitement" barely sums it up.
Speaking of the out-of-towners, RRR collectively determined both Paddy and Naomi should jointly be awarded the 2009 RTB Speedo Award of Honour for their outstanding achievements and efforts to
Kudos to Lindsay, Colin and all the volunteers who made the race great. Thanks to KK Sr. for the timechecks, encouragment and photos throughout the day and thanks also to Loren who provided team support and transportation.