Bob Cameron Cycling Series Racep

This past weekend the Victoria Wheelers Race Team participated in the Bob Cameron Law Cycling Series here in Victoria.  The event consists of a 5k TT on Friday evening, a grueling Metchosin road race on Saturday morning, and the Legislature criterium on Sunday.  The club fielded several riders in all catgories.  Here we get some exciting race reports from a few of the race team guys...

Andrew Russell's take on the cat1/2 Friday TT:
Over 100 riders signed up on a beautiful Friday evening to open their legs for the weekend. The classic Dallas Road ITT is a good measure for the weekend of racing to follow. I was without a TT bike, so instead opted for some stubby clip-ons for the dance.  
Fellow Wheeler Joe Gard gave me last words of encouragement before letting go at the top of the ramp. The first section, east bound to ross bay cemetery, was quite quick with a slight tail wind to aid. A good cheer squad at St.Charles turn-around got the blood pumping for the return leg to beacon which would form the bulk of the course. While riding I was so focused on staying low and narrow that tunnel-vision ensued. I have ridden that road hundreds of times, yet it felt foreign. I knew where all the risers and bumps were, but it was as if they were registering by braille. A quick salute to Terry Fox and the final 180 ensued. Further encouragement from TripleShooter Steve Keeler spurred the 'dig deep' phase for the last section returning to Clover Point. Legs ablaze, heart threatening to burst the jersey, I finished strong with a 7:10 clocking (18th). Quite a ways off the top guys w TT rigs but all systems checked out for what should be a barn burner in Metchosin this morning.
 
Geoff Homer's take on the cat1/2 Saturday RR:
Not to mince words, the Metchosin road race is a race of attrition. I've yet to compete in an edition that hasn't seen the majority of the field DNF at some point during the 120km through the Metchosin hills. The race is punctuated by two significant, steep climbs each lap, with a sneaky false flat or two that are ripe for sneak attacks. Andrew Russell and I lined up for the 2016 edition against the usual Giant/SmartSavvy, Russ Hays, Trek Red Truck, and Langlois contingent with ambitions to make the Wheelers presence felt throughout the race. In the days leading up to the race, we had dialogued various strategies, and had confidence that Red Truck would push for a break, and Russ Hays for a bunch sprint. The first two laps set the race on its head, with the blistering pace set by Red Truck obliterating the field. I'd estimate 25 DNF's within the first two laps. 
When some semblance of stability set into the race, four laps or so into proceedings, ARuss and I focused on making sure that any break had Wheeler representation. ARuss stirred the pot with his usual aplomb, and I managed to bridge to a Mike Van Den Ham move that had some promise, but was ultimately doomed after a lap or so. We should've expected it, but ARuss and I were both caught in recovery/reset mode when Craig Richey pulled off a gravel shoulder attack on the post Liberty Heights rollers. Craig's exploits on this course are the stuff of legend, and with both Langlois and Russ Hays both suffering a rash of lap 1 DNF's, his solo move could stick. My regret of the race was not following Jordan Landholt's bridge attempt the next time through the start finish. It would've put me deep in the red, but it was manageable. 
Two thirds in and under team orders, Jordan stopped working with Craig, and the remaining twelve odd riders that constituted the pack brought the Red Truck man back. An almost immediate counter by Dylan Davies, joined by an only recently caught Craig was the next great break of the day. A Connor Toppings bridge attempt, seen as futile by the remaining group, was ultimately successful and there were three up the road with four odd laps remaining. ARuss and I worked our tails off to slice the gap on the climbs, but with one and a half to go, were caught out by A Garrett McLeod attack on Liberty. Garrett was joined by Kyle B. and Brett D., who had sheltered themselves from the wind all day long. Kudos to them. I was left cursing my heretofore well used match-book, as I fell meters short of getting into Garret's slipstream.
Garret's move would ultimately bring back Conor, Craig and Dylan, a feat of incredible strength. The remaining group of 8 on the rode, which included ARuss and myself, fought it out for the remaining places. ARuss went early early, then I went early, and then Ollie went just right. Great day, great ride.
 
Trevor MacKenzie's take on the cat1/2 Sunday Crit:
Representing the Wheelers were ARuss, Geoff, newly minted cat2 rider Ian, and this reporter. Heading in to the event I was pretty nervous. The Tour de Bloom crit back at the start of May was hard (read eye bleedingly-crazy hard) and I spent the past 4 weeks telling myself that I needed to make up for the mistakes I made down in Wenatchee. I knew I needed a better start. I didn't want to waste matches getting too far back in the field and having to close gaps. And I knew I needed to hold speed through corners better. I had a tough time getting "crit crazy", that intense focus and faith needed to dive in to corners in such close proximity to your competitors, down in Bloom. I felt that if I could accomplish these two things at the Leg crit I'd have more matches down the stretch to use.
Race day saw the team prepping at the OBB tent (thanks Karl and to the club volunteers who marshalled the races and got us the tent space for free!!). Proud dad moment came when my little guys participated in the Timbits event with Ewan doing the lap sans parental support for the first time. Winning. We all got our warm-ups in and last minute potty trips done just in time to do a single lap and get to the start line. Geoff and I were strongly placed right at the front putting me in good position to stick to my plan of getting a better start. Geoff's false start settled the tense moods of all and before we knew it we were off.
The first 20 minutes of the race I felt great. I was staying near the first third of the field (50 deep), corning ok, and not spending too much time closing gaps. Each lap I reminded myself of my lines, focused on when/where I could pedal in the corners, and tried to move up when the opportunity to do so (without wasting effort) arose. Knowing the big guns TRT, RHs, and LB all had to mark each other or conspire to make a move stick, the Wheelers were able to settle in and let the race unfold. Props to Geoff and ARuss who found themselves at the front and put in some solid digs to try and get in moves. ARuss, showing confidence and fine form, even took and mid race prime. Well done buddy!
The next 45 minutes were full of accelerations, frequent attacks, and a few near crashes. On two occasions I witnessed riders almost go down and my brake check alone lost me positions and wasted valuable energy making up for their errors. I found my corners continue to get dialled and tight and down the stretch I was becoming increasingly confidence that I had good legs on the day. But having good legs isn't enough in an event like this. Good legs plus the brazen confidence to make moves is the key to getting a result. When it came down to 5 to go I just didn't find myself making the necessary moves, or risks, to move up much more than I already was. Coming in to the final stretch I believe ARuss, Geoff, and I all placed in the top 20 with Ian close behind.
All in all it was a superb race. With each cat1/2 event we do we gain confidence, skills, and hopefully some road race street cred. Looking ahead in to the VCL schedule and beyond to Superweek, the guys are hoping to continue to build on this year's successes.