Like a kid at the amusement park

On Wednesday this week I thought I’d try out the local masters criterium series in the Montreal area. For the past years it was held in an industrial area but this year it has been moved to a public park on a 760 meter path! Typically the attendance of this weekly race was 100+ racers in the past. I just couldn’t imagine 100 people doing a criterium on a 760 meter path. And that race, like most races, is notorious for early season crashes. I waited a few weeks, and noticed the field was more like 40 racers.

So I did show up, after a nice scenic warmup ride on Levesque boulevard in eastern Laval. Before the race I’m doing a few laps with long time racer and friend Eric Vani. He goes to me “I’ll feel like a kid again”. Indeed it’s the kind of thing you do as a foolish kid, whizzing around in a pack inside a public park @ 45 km/hour.

The race started and I did feel like a kid at the amusement park. Fast pace, and never ending cornering. I think we spent more time cornering than on the straightaways. It makes for a pretty intense and active race. My form was good, I attacked quite a few times and felt comfortable moving around the pack even on such a tight course. After seeing that nothing was going to stick, my plan was to give it a last desperate attack 2-3 laps before the end. I didn’t check the loop counter properly, and I ended waiting until the bell lap. Oh well, I still went all out giving Dominic Chalifoux and Martin Rooseboom a leadout for the last 500 meters.

Unlike the bumping cars at the amusement park where rubbing shoulders is fun, in the last 50 meters shoulder bumping caused a not so enjoyable crash. Luckily for me, my final effort was already over so I didn’t get to experience that.

Michel Brazeau

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