Here we are: 2010 race season! Once again, the first stop of the Canada cup is in sunny Mont Tremblant. Now that's something we can't say often, the sunny part that is, and to top it off I don't think I've ever ridden the course as dry as it was throughout the weekend. It remains, unfortunately, one of the most demanding tracks on the circuit in Canada. I say unfortunately because it is so early in the season. I've heard many riders manifest their desire to race this track later on the Canada Cup schedule, once a little more riding has been done… but I guess it plunges us right back into it hun boys !
It's the absence of flow coupled with the long pedaling sections in open ski trails and not to forget the slightly uphill rock gardens (sigh) that make it both very technical and physical. These factors thrust the well trained and power house racers to the top of the results list while less prepared and less trained riders drop down that same list. I guess you could say it separates the hungry from the rest of the pack.
The course drops just over 1200 feet or 375 meters The track remained the same as the last 13 years with a few very minor changes including a finish line jump that has been modified from last year (major cases of over-clearing in ‘09) to accommodate racers charging towards the end of their 4 minutes of suffering.
The first section stays true to itself year after year. It presents riders with many line choices that have you guessing where to go even though you've been studying and racing this section for years. Nothing seems to feel good on the way down, getting tossed from one side to another, struggling for that momentum that gives you confidence in the first 30 seconds of the race. Tough luck causes there no such thing in these first woods! Hold on to your lock-ons and plow down as fast as you can. Then you hit that wooden bridge at the bottom, breath than pedal. A slight uphill on to the ski trail, two slippery berms (especially the second one) and it's time to focus on what's coming up in the next technical section while your maxed out on your gears and tucking in as much as you can to avoid felling like a '87 Volvo on the highway.
The classic off camber rock claims many during practice and during the race itself but, in fact, is fairly easy to manage. It's the entrance and the exit that are vital in this section. The man made rock garden on the way out will rob you from your will to continue if you hit it wrong or without enough speed. I won't even mention the falling off part cause that one's a little obvious (I tried it last year and it did in fact rob me from the envy to continue).
By now you're most likely half way down the track but you feel like you should be finishing your run at this point because most riders feel the lactic acid build up, muscle fatigue and overall exhaustion kicking in hardcore. This is where that separation I was talking about starts to show. The racers who spent their winter in the gym on a proper program are pushing on those pedals and are getting ready for the second half of the track while leaving the rest of'em behind.
At the finish line, the crowd was good and lively. Many booths were setup and many curious bystanders wondered over to join the true fans. A sunny race does help with the attendance numbers. Results are as follow:
Top Ten Men's Elite
Evil Bikes/Red Bull
Rock Shox/Kenny Smith
On The Edge
Geddes Norco Factory Team
Team BC, Trek, Nike 6.0
The team booth stood where it usually does and assured a resting area for the crew. The team bikes got tuned by pro mechanic Alex Ouellet and Jean-Philippe Simard. The Elka rear shocks got all the attention they needed from Patrick Tellier, the main man at ELKA suspensions. Because many of the team riders had little beforehand time on the bikes, the mechanic worked over time to dial them in within the 2 days of practice. After a cruise down the track and getting a few bugs worked out, the Lama Cycles riders were ready to pound the rocks with the other 350 racers.
We thought we had lost two teammates during the race runs due to broken collar bones. Turns out Sky has a fractured collar bone (out for 3-4 weeks) and Yan survives with a micro-fracture (out for 1 week or so) and still managed to pull off a 17th place finish in the PRO men's category. Guillaume and Franck made sure the team stood tall by raking in a 5th place in JuniorX (Guillaume) and 7th Pro Men's Elite (Franck). We.re pretty stoked on these results! Good Job boys!
Apart from the results, it is very important for a team to develop that spirit of camaraderie that lets a relaxed atmosphere settle in. It makes our summers that much more enjoyable. Well this year, once again, we've managed to put together a great team. It only took a few hours and the boys were going at it as if they've been hangin' for years. It's always a good feeling when I walk into our condo and the guys are messing around having fun. I can tell our road trip to BC will be a whole-lotta-fun!
In addition to Lama Cycles distribution co. and Morewood Bikes, the Lama Cycles team is sponsored by Industry Nine, Kali protectives , Straitline Components, Formula Brakes, Alpinestars, Elka Suspension, Maxxis Tires, Spy Optic, SkiBromont.com, Cane Creek, Finish Line, ODI, SDG, , sport beans, OGIO, THE, Race Face, THULE, Dirt Camp.ca.
Lama Cycles distribution of bicycles, parts, helmets, DOT helmets and accessories. NS Bikes Canada, Morewood Bikes Canada, Industry Nine Canada, Kali Protectives Canada, Straitline Components Canada. Lama Race Team attends Bromont, Mont Tremblant, Mont Sainte Anne, Anse Saint-Jean, Camp Fortune, Panorama, Sun Peaks, race the Ranch, Windam, etc. Associated with Camp Of Champions, Dirt Camp.ca, PinkBike.com, Dhracer.com, Race Face, Alpinestars, Elka Suspension, Ski Bromont, Five Ten, Formula Brakes, Finish Line, Cane Creek, Industry Nine, Kali Protectives, Maxxis tires, Morewood Bikes, Ogio, SDG components, Spy optics, Strailine Components, ODI, Jelly Belly, THE industries, Oxyxgène Santé