Oct 10 2011

Tour de Hans 2011 – Race Report

Try to spot me in this video!

My last organized cycling event this season, the 2nd annual edition of Tour de Hans in Kitchener-Waterloo, was hosted at the German-Canadian Hunting Club’s Hubertushaus.

The weather was far from ideal. Temperature during the day never broke 10C with overnight frost warnings, and winds were 40km/h. The rain didn’t arrive until after noon, which was the only saving grace.

The celebrity riders: Ryan Roth of Team Spidertech, former Canadian Tour de France maillot jaune holder Steve Bauer, and Olympic gold & silver triahlon medallist Simon Whitfield led the peloton through a short warm up loop, then across the start/finish line for a rolling start.

Well, that little warm up didn’t help much. Everyone was still cold. Nonetheless, the main peloton pressed on, led by Ryan Roth, while several chase groups formed behind them.

I stayed comfortably with a chase group for just under 40km. Then a gap grew on a flat section with strong crosswinds, which I failed to close.

For the rest of the race, aside from a few encounters with other stragglers, I had to work alone.

I might have spent more than I thought earlier in keeping up with the chase group, that I was running low by the half way point.

From here on, it was a slow process of counting down the kilometres. Fortunately, most of the second half of the race had wind on my back, so I was able to keep a respectable pace despite the low fuel gauge.

Luck ran out with about 7km to go though. Turning north on to the final stretch, I was hit with the fierciest headwind since the very beginning of the race. This combined with the slow incline was absolutely brutal. Screaming at myself didn’t help me get any faster than 20km/h.

I wasn’t sure whether the road signs counting down the last 10 kilometres helped or not; at this point, it felt like I was against the world, and those signs were just downright teasing me!

Alas, I made the final right turn away from the headwind, and the finish line was 1km ahead. There was a megre, pathetic attempt at a sprint finish, and then there was relief.

I have some unfinished business here. I’ll have to come back and kill the course next year. Hopefully the weather will be nicer.

1 ping

  1. Tour de Hans 2012 – Race Report – HenryLo.ca

    […] I came back to the Tour de Hans partly as a redemption from the disaster last year, but I also couldn’t resist the Oktoberfest schnitzel and German lager after the […]

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