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Sep 06 2013

Le Tour de Terra Cotta – Race Report

By now, most cyclists in Southern Ontario have heard of the Tour de Terra Cotta, a road cycling race heard on a closed road circuit near the village of Terra Cotta.

With up to $1000 cash prize up for grabs for the winner, the race has become popular among the top amateur teams looking for a payday too.

This was my first race as a Midweek Cycling Club member, and would put some of my Learn-to-Race knowledge to use.

Pre-Race

I had to wait for a good 10-15 minutes for the beginner race to start before I could reach the registration tent to get my numbers and chip.

Then warm up consisted of out and back on Mississauga Road and a section of Heritage Road beside the race course, then went to line up. Midweek was well represented!

Lap 1

In the peloton

Photo: Sportszonephotography.ca

Neutral roll out to the bottom of the hill was surprisingly orderly. I took it easy going up the first time since there was no room to move up anyway.

I didn’t even see it, but team-mate Dan managed to get away on a solo break and managed to stay out for a whole lap. This would turn out to be the only notable breakaway in the whole race.

Lap 2

I somehow ended up at the back of the peloton with Joe, but moved my way up towards the middle the second time up Heritage Road.

Lap 3

I danced up the hill this time around and made it close to the group. We actually had a small gap on the rest of the field, but no one really wanted to work, so everyone came back together on Old School Road.

Lap 4-5

The next lap, I found myself at the front. Not sure what I was doing up there really, then a train went by on the left and nearly left me behind. But then everyone came back together again just like before.

Lap 6

Rounding the corner in the peloton

Photo: John Bachmann

I saw team-mate Steve got ran off the road and into the gravel on the right-hand turn into the final Heritage Road climb. He slid and fell, then the poor guy following his wheel completely catapulted himself over Steve.

After the race, I came back to the same spot to see him being carried to am ambulance on a stretcher. Hope he’s ok!

At this point, everyone was looking at each other, as a mass sprint finish was inevitable.
The pace didn’t pick up until turning north on Winston Churchill Road, where people started moving up to position.

Some bad timing and inadequate marshalling caused the main peloton to come up upon lapped riders right at the finish.

I and a bunch of riders on my side of the road had to grab the brakes, and ended finishing at the back of the peloton, while others were in better position, including Dan, who made it to the age group podium.

I was satisfied to be able to stay with the lead peloton the whole way, but given the relatively easy pace of this race, there might have been some lost opportunities to go for glory. I’ll get stronger for next year and maybe ride off the front?

2 comments

1 ping

  1. Paul Radcliffe

    That’s an awesome photo of you on Lap 6!

    Was Steve okay?

    1. Henry Lo

      He’s back on the bike after a few days. We’re cyclists after all, not Italian footballers 😛

      That photo reminds me of what my shifters looked like before my 2 crashes. They don’t look that nice any more, lol.

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