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Thor Espresso Bar Challenge – Updates

updates by the Forest City Velodrome

February 5, 2010 (London, ON) – Welcome to the Thor Espresso Bar Velodrome Challenge. A total of 28 riders from across Ontario, Quebec, United States and England are warming up for the 190.35km Marathon here at the Forest City Velodrome and will take to the boards shortly.

All the riders are geared up for the 1,380-lap, $2,500 to win track race.

The FCV is 138m long indoor Velodrome in London Ontario. This event will be a real test of endurance as the best road riders will duel it out with four members of the Canadian National Track team – this will be an interesting 4.5 hours of excitement.

Here are some of the names to watch in the early going, JM Lachance (Quebec) has indicated he will try to gain a few laps early, then hang on for the first of 3 x $100 primes at the 50k mark.

Ontario Road star Jeff Schiller (Garneau) has put in a ton of miles in the last three weeks and will keep everyone honest in the first two hours before the first pit stops.

Underdog, master racer Pat Shea (Team London) has the strategy to stay on the track for the first three hours before making his first pit stop…. Different strategies, only time will tell which will pay off.

With over $5,000 in total prizes this is the largest single day payout for track racers in Ontario.

6:18pm
23 Riders are at the rail (we had a few cancellations due to weather) to start rider introductions. A good crowd is on hand – 6″ of snow limited the numbers…. A complete sell out would have been nice too see.

The whistle goes and the riders roll off for a double pace line for each rider to be introduced to the crowd. What a sight 23 riders going for $5,000 in prizes.

Who will be the first to attack?

And they’re off!

6:30pm
The race is 15 minutes old and we have a very quick start to the festivities, in the first 15 min. a total of 100 laps have been completed at an average speed over 47 kph. At this pace there will be very few finishers, several riders are riding very conservative and are down several laps in the early going.

There is a group of four riders who have separated themselves from the rest of the field.

The leader at the moment is Jean-Michel Lachance.

6:45pm
The pace of the race still has not slowed, in fact the current pace is 54 km/h.

30 minutes into the Marathon and 188 laps have been covered, current leader Remi Pelletier-Roy is up by 1 lap over Martin Vecchio. Lachance has just had the first mechanical of the night.

The current pace will have the riders at the first sprint at 7:15pm. Looks like a number of the favourites are becoming more and more uncomfortable in the saddle and it’s very early to be feeling uneasy in the saddle.

7:00pm
Current leader Pelletier-Roy is still one lap up on the next rider, Veccio, who is three laps up on Adam Thuss. We are not 1/4 into the race and we have some very heavy legs. I would hate to see what will happen in 3 hours when we are at 175 km into the event. The body will change and the riders may suffer unbelievably in the final hour.

Lachance’s mechanical cost him 20 laps as he had to switch bikes. This is unfortunate for Lachance because he had the fastest lap at 8.9 seconds.

265 laps covered at this point, 12 riders are with in 10 laps of the lead.
The average speed is 44 km/h.

7:30pm
Winner of the first sprint Pelletier-Roy takes home $50, second Veccio $30, and $20 for third goes to Thuss.

Current average speed is 43km/h. The leader of the race is Remi Pelletier-Roy, now there are 5 riders within 10 laps of the lead.

Pit stops have begun. Most of the favourites are yet to come down off the track and are still rumbling along in a pacline at the blue line…. At the blue there is few riders and the top men can keep a steady pace. It might be a little longer but with few obstacles the speed can be maintained.

The race is beginning to break apart and in the next 30 minutes the top guns will come to the front and try to damage the weaker riders and set up the second half of the race.

Current situation:
420 Laps completed
Leader : Remi Pelletier-Roy
2nd :Martin Veccio
3rd : Adam Thuss
4th : Ryan Aitcheson
5th: Jeffrey Schiller

8:00pm
The race is now up for grabs, all riders have now made a pit stop. Now there are multiple laps between the top 10 riders.

The hurt is beginning to show on a number of riders who took too long to come off the track and they are paying the price of not taking on enough food and water.

All riders must come off the track to feed, no water or food is allowed on the racing surface. All riders must come to the roll around to take on food and water. Penalties can be imposed for infractions… (yes we have a penalty box set up on the infield) and Remi Pelletier-Roy was held for one minute for crossing in front of the scoring table.

Current race situation:
562 Laps completed
Current Leader: Ryan Aitcheson (2 laps ahead of 2nd place)
2nd: Martin Veccio (2 laps ahead of 3rd place)
3rd: Remi Pelletier-Roy (5 laps ahead of 4th place)

Riders out of the race: 2

8:45pm
Over 1/2 distance – 777 laps have been completed. The top three riders are very close to each other… they all just pitted at the same time.

The field is shreaded, they are more than 22 laps from the leader.

The race is really just starting and the next 2 hours will be very painful for those who have not planned their strategy properly.

Many of the spectators have gone for dinner at one of our sponsors, Boston Pizza, who had discount coupons for dinner between 7-9pm.

Winners of the second prime: (at the 100km mark) 1st: Ryan Aitcheson ($50), 2nd:  Remi Pelletier-Roy ($30), 3rd: Martin Veccio ($20)

And we are still at an average of 46km/h.

Current race situation:
Leader: Aitcheson (5 laps ahead of 2nd)
2nd: Pelletier-Roy (4 laps ahead of 3rd)
3rd:Veccio (4 laps ahead of 4th)

There are 2 riders retired from the Marathon.

9:00pm
Lots of action has taken place in the last 15 min, as three riders are within 10 laps. Everyone now has made at least three pit stops and the field is down to 20 riders remaining.

The average speed is maintained at 42 kph (unbelievable).

Looking back on the opening three hours, the pace has been very fast. This speed has meant that several riders have been on the rivet for the last 90 minutes. With just over an hour to go there are 4 riders with a chance to take home the $2,500.00 first prize.

All riders are trying to stay within 100 laps of the leader. In order to receive a payout the riders in the money have to finish within 100 laps of the leader….. should be a very interesting final 60 minutes.

Current Race Situation:
Leader: Aitcheson
2nd: Pelletier-Roy
3rd: Veccio

850 Laps have been completed.

3 riders have retired from the marathon.

9:30pm
Just over three hours and 15 min of racing, we are at the 990th lap.

First place is Aitcheson at lap number 990
Second place is Pelletier-Roy at lap number 985
Third place is Veccio at lap number 973

And eight laps down there is a battle for 4th and 5th place between Jeff Schiller and Geoff Power.

Riders who left the race: Adam Thuss, Patrick Shea, Xavier Disley and Chris Vlemmix.

10:00pm
We are down to 3 riders with a chance to win the event. We’re into lap number 1,127 and the race is about to explode.

Last preem of the night went to Aitcheson($50), Pelletier-Roy($30) and Veccio($20).

Current Situation:
Leader: Aitcheson (1,127 )
Second: Pelletier-Roy (1,123)
Third: Veccio (1,112)

Average speed: 40km/h

10:30pm
The latest “dig” initiated by Jeff Schiller was at 54 km/h at 1,219 laps in!! And they’re still racing strong.

And the countdown for 100 laps is about to begin…

And the rumour is the spectators like the show so much, the racers like the show so much, the sponsor likes the show so much that there may be ten grand as prize money for next year’s event!

Current situation:
Laps completed: 1266
Leader : Aitcheson
Second :Pelletier-Roy
Third : Veccio
Fourth: Schiller
Fifth:  Power

10:43pm
And the two leaders are just pounding each other!

It’s like a prize fight!

It’s their race…there are still four laps separating Aitcheson from Pelletier-Roy. Their last dig was 57 km/h!!

10:56pm

And after 4 hours and 46 min of racing…with an average speed of 40 km/h and a distance of 185 km in the longest single day track race ever in the world…

And sprinting for the very end,

The winner is Ryan Aitcheson
2nd place: Remi Pelletier-Roy
3rd place: Martin Veccio
4th place: Jeffrey Schiller
5th place: Geoff Power
6th place: Brian Dalton
7th place: David Byer
8th place: Phillipe Raymond
9th place: David Bogue
10th place: Christopher Balestrini

A total of 15 riders finished the marathon.





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