One for the history books.
The second Ontario Cup race at Highlands Nordic is already legendary. The event is several days behind us and people are still talking about one of the most memorable races in O-Cup history. The weather forecast heading into the event was equally as legendary, as it was ridiculously accurate: cold and damp with a chance of snow.
The Superfly Racing team worked tirelessly the entire weekend to give us a race despite the very poor and muddy conditions. Sean Ruppel from Superfly later commented “I’ve never been so close to cancelling a race as I was today – the weather was just so difficult, and with the clay-based trails, I knew the riders were in for a death march”. And a march it was. The below photo depicts the race conditions very nicely:
(source: Hannah Clarke. Thanks for sharing the awesome photos, HansSolo!)
Team Progressive rider Mike Solic once again kicked things off in the first start wave of the day and took the win in his U17 Cadet category. Greg followed suit as he lead his field off the start line in the mid-day waves, fighting the muddy conditions to take second place. The weather has been known to improve for the 1:30 Elite and Expert waves, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday. It continued to snow and the mud became even more dense. Liam, Kelsey, Chris, Jan and Brendan battled for positions in the Elite Men’s group, with both Kelsey and Chris taking Top 10 finishing positions and Liam claiming his second second-place podium finish in the 2016 O-Cup series! Unfortunately, and like many other riders on Sunday, Jan and Brendan were both victim to the mud and DNF (did not finish). Laura was also victim to the conditions and had to bow out of the Elite Women’s field after completing a hard fought first lap. Mike Davidson and Jay went back and forth throughout the 3 Lap race, with Mike taking third place in his Master Expert category and Jay with a top 10 finish in his field. Malcolm and Noah also braved the elements in their Junior Expert field, with Malcolm taking third place and Noah having to end his race short due to the conditions.
Here’s a great recap from Noah to add some insight into the conditions of the day:
It was a beautiful day for mid-January… Although maybe not for a bike race. Today was the Superfly Racing O-Cup #2 at Duntroon Highlands. It was definitely a day for the tough guys; with a crazy blizzard whipping through the trees and mud up to my calves (or Liam’s Ankles). It was a question of line choice, tires and just pure luck. The course was shortened due to some trails being `un-rideable`. The start wasn’t so much a battle for the front but a fight for the least muddy line. I lucked out finding a packed in “rut,” leading the start climb.
A group of four opened up a gap on the rest of the field; including Malcolm and I. The funny thing was that I thought the start straight was muddy… it was nothing compared to the first single track. It was a game of who can keep the wheels spinning, because as soon as you stopped, the mud would clog the fork and bottom bracket, completely stopping the wheels from rotating. Malc finished up in 3rd thanks to Continental Mud-Kings, and huge congrats to Brody who took the win. Sad to say that the mud got today. Like I said, today was for the tough guys, and I guess I was lacking in that department today! Huge thanks to Superfly for making the most of the unpredictable weather!
Great racing, running, pulling and bike-dragging by everyone on Sunday. There’s no arguing that it was one of those races where everyone was a champ, simply by showing up and lining up at the start.
Until next time!
What’s next for Maverix: