Saturday, September 5, 2015

Racing Around Jasper

It's my first time doing this race and being to this area of Canada. We raced into Jasper National Park yesterday and today we got to race in the park. It is an amazingly beautiful place with acres upon acres of untouched wilderness. The small part of the park that you can see from the roads is rival to any place I've been in terms of beauty, no doubt. I'm not here on a sightseeing trip though! We had 160km of challenging racing with 3 circuits of some rolling terrain in the park, followed by a 12km ascent up to the ski area of Marmot Basin. The start was a little hectic, but we maintained good control and only 3 guys went away. It was easy for Marco and Kristof to control the time gap and it just took the usual turn up of the gas in the closing kilometers of racing to bring the gap down quickly. We hit the climb and continued to set a good tempo on the front. Jesse did a good portion of the beginning of the climb, setting a really hard tempo. A few guys tried some attacks, but our tempo kept the at bay. I took over for Jesse until a few more dangerous guys attacked and Bauke decided he needed to follow. It was a bit of panic on his part that he covered them because it wasn't so dangerous yet. Instead he should've let us keep pulling for a bit and keep things a little more under control because shortly afterwards, he was isolated with still 5km to go. In the end it didn't matter thankfully as he finished second on the stage and kept the jersey. So that means tomorrow we will have to protect the jersey again, although we should get some help from some sprinter's teams. And then barring anything crazy with the gravel roads tomorrow (flats for example), it will be a little dicey on the final stage. It is a tricky circuit in Edmonton and Bauke only has 6 seconds to Yates in second place, which is dangerous because the time bonus on the finish line is 10, 6, and 4 seconds, so if Yates finished first or second and Bauke isn't 3rd, we will lose the jersey. We have confidence in him though!


kyleJ said...

Good luck Matt! Keep it up! We're all rooting for you!!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! An over due victory for TFR! It's nice when everything comes together. Thanks for the posts!