April 4, 2011 – Under gorgeous sunny skies the 10th annual Tour of Pelham Enduro kicked off at Brock University. The 36km course wrapped itself through the back roads of Thorold and Pelham. Muddy chutes, farmer fields and gravel roads and eight good size climbs were the order of the day. From the gun, straight up the escarpment and into singletrack, the lead break formed.
Defending champion Nathan Chown (Handlebars) and teammate Warren Tilbrook a former national team road member drove the seven man move, which also contained junior national CX champ Ben Perry (Rocky Mountain), junior Ontario mountain bike champ Brandon Etzl (Planet Energy/SpiderTech) the Wagler brothers (3 Rox Racing) and veteran hardman Teddy Ingram (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny’s).
Through the Mathias farm with classic cyclocross conditions at hand, Chown opened up a gap with Ty Wagler and Ben Perry chasing ahead of the remaining three as Etzl fell out of contention with a broken spoke. As Wagler flatted and Perry bridged, so did Warren Tilbrook, creating a lead group of three into the last section of singletrack into the finish.
Chown used his power and knowledge of the course to leave Perry and Tilbrook to secure his third straight win, to finish in a time of 1:12.
Thirty second later Perry came in followed closely by Warren Tilbrook, with Ingram in fourth and Preston Wagler in fifth. All three medalists hail from the St.Catharines hotbed of cycling, making it a hometown podium.
On the women’s side Lesley Chown made it a family affair as she secured gold by six seconds over Team Hardwoods Katlyn Dundas and Heather Shearer in third.
FULL results here.
Angry Johnnys / Cycle Solutions race team gets off to a flying start with a win at the 2011 season opener Tour of Pelham.
by Ted Ingram
Sunny skies and 10 degs greeted the 130+ riders as they gathered at Brock University to set off on a challenging 36km sprint around the rolling back roads and vineyards of Niagara. The first selection of the day came early about 250m from the start as we turned on to Power House Rd a hard pack dirt road that climbs straight to the top of the escarpment. After that hard effort and a muddy slip and slide through the single track of Two Bridges Trail a small select group of 8 emerged from the woods and charged up the gravel embankment on to Deced Rd.
The group contained Nathan Chown and Warren Tilbrook – Handlebars, Ben Perry – Rocky Mt , Ted Ingram – Angry Johnny’s/Cycle Solutions, Preston Wagler and Ty Wagler – 3 Rox Racing, Brandon Etzl and Justin Zotti – Planet Energy, a long look back confirmed that we had a solid gap. I yelled up to Nathan ,that we were clear with 8 riders, as he set tempo and turned west down a rough farm lane.
It was all hands to the oars as we held 34 – 36 Km/H , hopefully stout enough to keep anyone from bridging up to us , on the asphalt till we turned on to McSherry Rd at the 10 km mark. Nathan, sensing the lull, moved to the front as the paved road narrowed and headed down my favourite part of the course, the “chute” – a 30m plunge down the escarpment. I hopped on his wheel trying to get a clear view around him to the wheel grabbing mud puddles and ruts ahead as we careened down the sides of the chute hopping back and forth over the central rut.
Now the fun starts. We 8 have a solid lead at this point so now the attacks start. Softly at first just enough to see who is quick to chase and who lags. When the move happens it is so subtle I can see it now only with the help of 20/20 hindsight. Over the crest of a hill through a section of rollers Nathan, 3rd wheel, flicks his left elbow, his team mate Warren attacks sharply from the rear, gapping the group. We chased back hard, Nathan still tucked in 3rd wheel, when the lull happens as we finally cover the 1st attack Nathan lights off the real attack.The move was so successful only Ben Perry and team mate Warren Tilbrook ever got close to him.
Nathan Chown – Handlebars – 36km in 1:12 – 30Km/H Avg., Ben Perry – Rocky Mt – 1:12.52, Warren Tilbrook – Handlebars – 1:13, Ted Ingram – Angry Johnny’s/Cycle Solutions – 1:14.55, Preston Wagler – 3 Rox Racing – 1:14.56
Today marked 20 years of racing for me and I had an awesome day – made the break and then sat back and watched as the aggressive attacking and tactical finesse made Tour of Pelham one of the most interesting races I’ve done in years. Great to see more young riders at the front. 4th Overall equals my 2008 finish and, by being the only 40+ to make it in to the 8 man break I won 40+ literally by a country mile. Could not have asked for a nicer day, Tim and his crew at Lake to Lake events did an awesome job. Police at the major intersections and lots of marshalls made for a very safe and fun event. See you there in 2012.