So the race...
I think the whole field started the day feeling a little tired after the hard race in Quebec, and the early morning of travel to Montreal, but it didn't take too long for the action to start. The first to attack actually was our very own George Bennett. Funny part was George coming up to me right after the start and asking, "should I attack?" I said, "if you want the fireworks to start!" Well, George attacked at the base of the big climb (the 12km circuit had a 2km climb just after the start/finish and one other smaller, steeper climb) and surprisingly no one followed... at first. The field rolled a solid pace until the top of the climb, and then it was "on like donkey kong" for the next hour.
We blazed through the next three or four laps full tilt. I tried to blow the cobwebs out of my legs by following multiple moves. With the intensity of the pace, the field split into several groups at one point. I was in the lead group (21 I think), but it was too big to work. After a regrouping, three guys went away and the dust settled a bit. The field rolled pretty easy for the next lap or two, then the pace escalated quickly. I got caught at the back during the first moments of the escalation and had to fight pretty hard to make my way back to the front. The brief fiery of attacks cut the break's gap down rapidly, and a couple guys tried to make the jump across the gap, but they never made it. As the laps wound down, the pace really ramped up being driven mainly by Katusha.
With Tony, Haimar, and Ben as our protected riders, I did my best to keep track of them, as well as try to keep toward the front in order to be able to help cover any late race moves. The field thinned under the increased pressure; however, it was still a pretty large field going into the final lap. I found Tony as we approached the final lap and moved him to the front. We hit the climb after the finish, and the favorites started making moves. The main field splintered, and Tony and Oliver were in the first group, so we had a good situation. I was stalled on the climb, narrowly avoiding a crash by the two riders whose wheel I was following; however, I don't think I would have made the first group anyway. I rolled across the finish line hoping for some good news from the first group, but we came up a bit short again. It was disappointing, but the team gave a solid effort throughout both races, so we have to be proud of that. It was a fun weekend in Canada, and I look forward to doing these races again in the future.