June 24, 2011 (Newmarket, ON) – The 5th annual Tour de Speed race on June 16th, sponsored by the Newmarket Eagles Cycling Club was an amazing success. The race is part of the OCA’s Youth Cup Series for riders ranging in age from 9 to 16. This year’s record field of 86 riders was almost 40% larger than previous years.
Preparation for race day starts months in advance, but 90% of that is administrative. The real effort started just after 7:00 am when the first of many volunteers arrived with brooms and blowers in hand to sweep the corners.
By 7:30, road dust was flying, registration was being organized, tents were going up, start/finish lines were being repainted, the parking lot was being staked off, coffee was brewing (very important), the prize table was being set-up and banners and flags were being hung. And sometime around here, Maria Moreau shovel in hand, hopped in her truck and gamely drove off to remove some sort of road kill from the course.
By 8:30, riders and families began to arrive along with the St. John Ambulance, York Region Police, OCA officials, the Commissaires and the Timer. Parking marshals kicked into high gear looking for room for nearly one-hundred cars (somebody counted them), traffic cones on the route were being set-up, tomatoes were being sliced, riders were being registered, coffee was being sold and about a hundred other little details were being looked after by the amazing club volunteers without being asked to do so.
By 9:00, the joint was jumping and we were running out of room. Kirk Douglas made the first of two (or was it three?) runs to Keswick for more supplies. The course marshals started to head for their respective points on the track and we were ready to roll.
At 9:30, the races started on time with Commissaires Ed Sitarski and Anne Cobban keeping the schedule on time and Timer Bradley Day recording the results. In three hours, we ran eight TTs and eight RRs.
There were three cases of road rash, one sprained ankle and one TT rider MIA. It seems that while “in the zone”, the rider rode right by a marshal and a police car with flashing lights and then made his way an extra seven kilometres before being chased down and returned to the original route. He then competed in the RR!
A BBQ lunch, prize draws and the awarding of medals followed the races.