Sunday, March 11, 2012

VCL#1 - Caleb Pike: Rain, Snow, Hail, Wind...Brrrrrr!

To say that VCL 2012 kicked off with a bang is an understatement.  The impressive turnout in today's race did little to sway what mother nature had in store for the racers.  A recipe of cold wind, rain, snow, and even hail pummeled and buffeted the riders into near submission.   However, many of the racers were not phased and bravely battled the elements and simultaneously put on a good show.

Dylan and Emile in the winning break
In the A Race, Emile De Rosnay (Russ Hays / Accent Inns) attacked off the front and had an early gap, with Steve Bachop (IRC) and Chuck Detheridge chasing later followed by Raph Lalumiere and Dylan Cunningham (Russ Hays / Accent Inns). Dylan was able to bridged up to Emile on his own, leaving Chuck, Steve, and Raph to chase.

Chuck, Raph, and Steve giving chase
Knowing this, Dylan and Emile decided to give it full gas.  "...we decided to make sure it was hard for them to bridge up.....and then we decided, since they weren't closing up the gap, that we should get them out of sight, which would mean out of mind." explained Emile after the race.  As a result of their efforts, the dynamic duo actually ended up lapping the main field, a feat that hasn't been done in quite some time.

Meanwhile, the A Group peloton was neutralized due to a large contingent of Russ Hay's/Accent Inns riders who were marking the attacks and controlling the pace.  Kevin Ford (Pro City Racing) and Henri de Boever (Russ Hay's/Accent Inns) were able to let loose from the pack but were unable to catch any of the leading riders. 

3rd chase group:  Kevin and Henri (Before being lapped by Emile and Dylan)
A crash mid-way through the race saw David Strasser (Russ Hays/Accent Inns) fall on a corner, but was able to get back on his bike and return to the race after taking a free lap.  "I was going into corner 2 on lap 8ish, someone hit the brakes and I t-boned someone's wheel and did a somersault into the pavement", explained David.

Main Peloton half way in the race
 In the second half of the race, the riders were greated with a cornucopia of bad weather with waves of cold wind, snow, hail, and rain; causing many to complain of numb hands, feet, and forcing some to abandon the race altogether.

 In the end, Emile and Dylan still put on a show and agreed to sprint each other for the win; with Emile taking the win, and Dylan throwing his hand up in a satisfying second place.  While there seemed to be confusion on the number of remaining laps, Chuck Detheridge outsprinted Steve Bachop and Raph Lalumiere for 3rd place.  While Henri De Boever out-gunned Kevin Ford to take 6th. 

Emile puts his hand up as he takes the win
 The main pack sprint saw Tom Malcyncki (Pro City Racing) hold off Jordan Duncan (Russ Hays/Accent Inns) for 8th, followed by John Van der Vliet (Comox Valley Cycling Club) and Wade Smith (Pro City Racing) to finish off the top ten.

Tom takes Jordan to the line followed by John
 Full results and photos can be found at

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