Race Report: Paris to Ancaster
Race Report by Pauline Beaupre.
Despite being held the last Sunday of April, which growing up in Ontario would lead one to believe it might actually feel like spring, you never quite know what the weather holds for Ontario’s “spring classic” of Paris to Ancaster.
This year was no different. Early in the week it was forecasting snow to rain to below zero temperatures making the “what to wear game” particularly challenging for the 70km of mixed surface race.
I’m normally cold so opted to wear everything but on the start line realized this would be a mistake. Did not abide by the rule of: wear one less layer while racing than training.
I started in Wave 1 and soon found myself blowing up within the first 15km. Dialed it back a bit and was in a good group that was working relatively well together. Had some friends in the mix too which brings some solace knowing we’re all suffering out there together.
The pack came to a halt at a fork where there was an option for a drop down or a longer but less vertical option. Seems the drop down was backed up by a child, but I hedged my bets he’d move down it fast so decided to go that way. One friend I was riding with chose the other, and that’s where our race together ended as she wasn’t able to bridge back up. I knew that kid would come through!
I found myself alone in the wind along the last rail trail section and mentally started to crack. It had been a long winter and I was out of practice of what it felt like to ride at threshold for so long.
I did my best to chug along while conserving enough to not cramp or run out of energy for that last hill. There are just too many spectators cheering, heckling, snapping pics to get off the bike!