††††††††††††††† First of all I just wanted to say thanks to everyone involved with the SCA trip to CX Nationals this past weekend. Without any of you neither I nor Dave or Andrew would have been able to travel to Nanaimo for the race. Iím very grateful to all of you out there who aided in any way with this project. Big thanks especially to Denise and Sean for putting so much time into this. It was a great experience for my first out of province race and it gave me a very good impression of racing outside of Saskatchewan.
††††††††††††††† The trip started, as most probably do, with an early morning flight and, luckily, a two short plane flights. We arrived on the island Friday morning around 9:30 or 10:00 and got in the rental van and drove down to Nanaimo. Once there we put our bikes together as soon as possible and headed straight for the race course to do our pre-ride. The course was wet and slippery but not to the extent of making it dangerous. The course was a lot more like a mountain bike still course than any of the Sask courses so far, which I found didnít hurt me. I found the course abit longer then a regular Sask course as well, which didnít actually make a difference because Nationals was a lapped race instead of a timed race. The course had plenty of variation in the course and a lot of elements we donít get in Saskatchewan, particularly the BMX track that was used. The course also consisted of two run-ups, one set of stairs and one steep climb, and one set of double barriers, right after a ninety degree corner which made them tricky to take at speed.
††††††††††††††† The day of the race the weather seemed to be ever changing. For the beginning of the espoirs race it was cloudy, but towards the middle of the race the rain started coming. For the beginning of the juniors race however, which was immediately after the espoirs, the rain stopped and by the last two laps the sun had come out. Even though it rained the day of the race the course didnít get much worse except a couple of exceptionally cold puddles here and there. In total there were 8 juniors in my race which was somewhat disappointing but nonetheless made for a good race. I rode for the majority of the race in 5th and 6th place. Heading into the last lap I was riding in 5th with a BC rider right on my wheel and a second BC, same team, about 10 seconds back. Coming up the first climb of the lap my legs cramped quite badly so unfortunately I wasnít able to hold unto 5th place. I ended up in 7th, 11 seconds back from 6th and another 9 seconds back from 5th. I still feel happy with my result as I was racing with 2 other guys the whole race and was still 6 minutes ahead of 8th place.
††††††††††††††† Once again thanks very much to anyone who aided with this Nationals project, it was a great experience.
††††††††††††††† -Stephen Cooley