There was a solid mix of experience and youth mixed into the qualifiers and the random heat placement mixed up the riders even more. The qualifiers usually play a roll in telling who the eventual winner might be. This night was no exception…. Jean Michel Lachance, Benoit Lessier, Martin Veccio and Junior Alex Pinard won their heats and a total of 24 riders moved on to the next elimination round.
On to the Semi-Final where the top 24 riders were again selected randomly for their 60 lap semi. We were starting to see a pattern emerge with the juniors in the field moving to the front to take the top spots in the semi finals, with Alex Pinard (Quebec) and Will Simonds (Ontario) winning their respective races. Many of the more seasoned riders were conserving their energy until it counted. I the first Semi. Scott lundy dominated the race and was able to lap the field with the other 5 riders who would advance to the Final.
The last chance qualifier provided the last 2 riders the opportunity to make into the challenge final. 12 riders came to the rail to contest the 30 lap dash. The race produced a steady tempo at first and by the 1/2 way point there were 6 riders left. with 2 laps to go Eric MacDonald (Ontario) attacked and gained a 6 bike advantage that he would carry to the line in. The final qualifying spot had a nice battle to the line with Conrad Mrowiec (Ontario) to take the final spot in the CanAmQue Challenge.
Now that qualifying was complete, the 14 riders lined up for the longest race on the FCV calendar.
How the Race Unfolded
The CanAmQue Challenge started off with a flurry, several attacks in the first 20 laps quickly thinned out the pack and a group of 3 riders gained 1/2 a lap very quickly, on our 138m Velodrome an advantage of 1/2 a lap can be gained within 15 seconds of racing. Aitcheson was the first to roll off the from followed by JML and Martin Veccio (USA), the 3 rode tempo until there was a reaction from the group and 4 riders tried to bridge up to the 3 leaders. That is when the race exploded, with $100.00 bonus for the first rider to lap the field, JML accelerated and took the lap. Aitcheson who is recovering from Mono, blew and had to find refuge in the pack. The only rider to get on even terms with JML (Lachance) was Martin Veccio who also eventually took his lap and the race would play out from there.
Over the next 55 laps the spectators were treated to a solid pace with multiple attacks by the 10 riders who were down a lap. Veccio was off the front several times with Lachance closing the gap each time. in the battle for 3rd Junior Alex Pinard flexed his musscle by attacking with no reaction from the pack until 7 laps to go, that is when several riders including Lorne “Professor” Falkenstein, Will Simonds and Adrian George moved up in the feild to be able top respond to any late race attack. with 4 to go Pinard still had a sizable lead on the pack, however, things were about to get interesting.
Veccio tried to catch Lachance sleeping and launched a solid attack with less than 3 to go, Lachance had to counter from half way back in the field…. and counter he did as both riders caught Pinard who had used up all the matches in his pouch and had to struggle for 8th overall. At the same time as Lachance attacked, Will Simonds and Adrian George did the same and both Junior riders were able to get the wheel of Lachance and separate themselves from the pack. In the battle at the front Lachance had a little more in the tank and was able to lay down a solid lap at 58 kph on the last lap to pipp Veccio at the line and take the 6th version of the winter classic. The racing was not over as George charged over the top of Simonds to finish on the podium in 3rd with Simonds 4th.
All in all a very sucessful night of racing with average speeds for the 138 affair at 43.422 kph. Full race results are now posted on the FCV website.
In other racing action, out of town racer Myriam Burton (Ottawa),and Davis Perez (London) won their first races ever, what a cool way to end a very exciting night of racing.
Next race on the FCV calendar is the FCV Grand Prix on Saturday December 3rd. Racing starts at 7pm. For more information about recreation and Racing programs at the Forest City Velodrome, please go to our website HERE.
1. Jean-Michel Lachance (One % for the Planet) 26:18.9 (138 laps)
2. Martin Veccio (Black Line) 26:20.4 (138)
3. Adrian George (Invita/FCV) 26:19.5 (137)
4. Will Simonds (Invita/FCV) 26:20.1 (137)
5. Lambert Gatineau (Independant) 26:23.0 (137)
6. Lorne Falkenstein (Cycles London Racing Team) 26:23.0 (137)
7. Blaine Benson (Black Line) 26:24.3 (137)
8. Alexandre Pinard (VC Montreal – Cycles Regis) 26:25.3 (137)
9. Michael Nuttall (Cycles London Racing Team) 26:26.4 (137)
10. Brian Trafford (Ottawa Bicycle Club) 26:28.2 (137)
11. Mike Renneboog (Team TC1/London Honda/Village Cycle) 136 26:25.9 (136)
DNF Ryan Aitcheson (Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist) (83)
DNF Eric Macdonald (Cycles London Racing Team) (53)
DNF Conrad Mrowiec (Forest City Velodrome) (32)
Full results HERE.