Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Pan Am MTB - My Review as a Happy Spectator!!

So, just because there was no race last weekend, doesn't mean I've just been horsing around...





OK...maybe I have, but I haven't been alone....here are three horses asses...




Anyways, there was a race last weekend, of course.  The Pan Am games.  Uhm, no I wasn't in it....but I was lucky enough to attend as a spectator thanks to Giant's generous offer of a ticket!!

So up to Hardwood Hills Ski and Bike we headed for race day.  The venue looked like this...



Or at least a part of it did...

So I have to say the event was very, very well organized; and the volunteers were very well coached on how to make the spectators feel good, and to present Toronto and the GTA in a very favourable light.  If I were to have any room for complaint at this event, it would be the lack of quality and amount of food available;  basically 4 food trucks for 4500 people (I actually think there were more attendees than the organizers expected).

Here is an idea of the food lineups...


Yes, those very long strings of people all the way into the background, was the lineup...
Lots of port-o-potties though!!

Anyways, on to the actual racing.  Following is more or less a pictorial review....thanks mostly to pics contributed by Giant, and JeffS.  Why did I not take my own pics??  Well apparently I am not that great of a photog...OK, I actually suck at it...



And this guy did't contribute much...




And ApexTed was not present...missed you at the past few events Ted...hope to see you soon!!

Anyways, here we go.  The event started with the women's race at 10am...our two Canadians were Catharine Pendrel Plate 1, and Emily Batty Plate 2.  It was a close group off the start...and in fact the USA ladies lead up the start road...




But the two Canadians quickly distanced themselves from the field, leaving a huge gap that extended with every lap.  It really ended up being a two woman race...



Emily took the lead early, but Catharine soon took over and really lead for the remainder of the race...





Being a world class, PanAm worthy course, it included extremely challenging, difficult features.  BoneShaker, Endo Rock, Disera's Drop...  But these ladies are pros (literally!), and handled them easily!  This gap jump scares the crap out of me....these ladies made it look flat and easy!





Goofy dude watched the two Canadian's flash by....

video


Hardwood Hills is almost literally the backyard of where Emily grew up.  This is her 'home' course....she knows every line.  She stayed on Catharine's tail for the entire race...then towards the end of the last lap she made her move, passed Catharine...




And in an exciting finish to a very enthusiastic cheering crowd,  Emily takes the gold, Catharine the silver!!

Victory lap...



Podium...




A very proud gold medalist!!



Well done ladies!!  You done Canada proud!!

And then it was the men's turn....

Racing for Canada was Derek Zandstra plate 2, and Raphael Gagne plate 3...

In the gate...




Both Canadians were strong out of the gate...and Gagne stayed in the top 3 - 5 racers for the entire race...




Zandstra ended up dropping off a bit...but still pushed hard to stay within reach...




The afternoon had become very hot and oppressively humid.  The conditions had to be killing these guys!!

Then in the final lap, both Canadians made their move, and in a very exciting finish, again to the screams of the crowd, Gagne takes the gold and Zandstra crosses in 4th!!



Well done Canadian men!!!


We managed to get our pic taken with members of Team Trek...that's Dan McConnell, Australian Champ in the centre...


Other celebs on the scene...

thedumbopinion




CoachRob...one of the few times I ever get to be ahead of him...does it count if there are no bikes???




Oh go on!!!


Anyways....the atmosphere at the event was electric!  Really!!  It was a total pleasure to attend and despite the heat and humidity, every spectator seemed totally drawn in; heartily cheering on our Canadians at various points of the race course.  And not only our Canadians, but other racers of other countries...especially racers who had a story behind their attendance (like the Guatemalan male) or countries who don't have/or put money into their sports teams.

Actually I really wish CBC had done a better job of promoting this event...their coverage was almost non-existent (In fact, in my opinion, CBC is doing a terrible job of coverage of the entire games!).

And I sincerely hope the organizers don't leave a bad taste with the planned finale, and ruin an awesome two weeks of great games....




But, to stay positive here, the event just left me wanting to get out and ride.  So we did!!  Giant and I went directly from the event to nearby Copeland Forest to ride the challenging trails there.  This was the first time for either of us at Copeland....and it was a blast.  We rode for 3 hours until the sun setting made it too dark...

Finally, to finish off this post, Lois made a comment that the pic of Team Riot's kit in the previous post perhaps provided a little too scantily clad coverage...

Actually she is lucky that I didn't provide this nudie pic of myself...






Also considering this for Team Riot kit.....even less cover than nudeness....






Did find this for the new Team Riot helmet though....




And really, Lois is one to talk when this selfie is her profile pic...



















Anyways!!  Yes, before I get myself anymore off base....or in any more trouble....better call it quits right here.

What is coming up next??  I have no idea....if I am still breathing after this...more training.  Next race is not until July 25th for the Summer 8 hour.  I'm registered Solo Male....

Stay posted!!

No comments:

Post a Comment