Wednesday, July 23, 2008

White Rock Road Race

I volunteered as a driver for the White Rock road race. I got to drive an SUV carrying about 20 wheels in case somebody has a flat. I got assigned the men's race which was longer and tactically more sophisticated then the women's as it turns out.

At the starting line we were trapped behind the women's group which was supposed to start 5 minutes after the men. Of course there was a bit of a delay so after they started I have to push the car hard to overtake the women and chase back to the men's group. Due to logistics I did not get hold of the car until the morning of so trying to drive hard a new car is quite stressful.

The course has 2 sections, the loop up Columbia/Victoria and the Magdalene Ave switch-back. The Magadalene section is tricky because of all the lefts and rights. Driving the course the first time in a unfamiliar car is definitely not the way to do it in the first lap of the race. Anyways after a error or two we caught the group on the downhill after Magdalene section so things were turning normal after that.

In terms of work we have 2 flats. The 2nd flat was in a very awkward spot where the road is used 2-way. Once my car stops, cyclists behind me have very little room to pass me. Luckily there were no crashes nor much oncoming traffic from the women's peloton. Here is a view of the 2nd flat taken from the women's lead car:

The view from car is great. I got a race radio and can listen and communicate to the commissaires which were covering the race in front and at the back. I can see the whole pack riding and can listen to the progress of the breakaway group. It is like having the legs to follow these cat one or cat two riders and watching the whole race develop in front of my eyes.

The race itself is exciting as well. There was a breakaway of 4 riders for a few laps. The gap was at one point almost 3 minutes before Symmetrics and Jittery Joe decided to pull them back. At the last long lap Chris Horner decided to attack at the Magdalene switchback, the whole peloton then got shattered. Then when they do the short laps the tempo keeps going up and more and more people got dropped. At the end Chris dropped everybody else and claimed victory.

It was a fun thing to do and gives a lowlife racer like me a chance to contribute in Superweek. I would definitely do this again.

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