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Escape Velocity’s Sportif Series #1 – Race Report



It was a cold one.

As riders signed up Saturday morning, the ominous clouds near the horizon looked like they might keep their distance, and preserve some sunny skies for the race.

But at the gun there was hail, then soaking rain, and all in single-digit temperatures.
It was a race of massive attrition, estimated at 75% in all categories, mostly due to cold weather, though an early B-group crash also removed a few riders.

The A/B race was run as an Australian Pursuit, so that both groups (the A’s numbered about 15, the B’s nearly 30) would get a better race. The 8-minute handicap over a planned 108 km race was not nearly enough. The A group carved two minutes off in the first 10 km, and steadily removed time for the rest of the race. Even after all the races were cut short by one lap, the diminished A group caught the badly depleted B group with laps to spare.
H&R Block was the dominant force driving the A group all day, and as the last laps came around, they had four riders in a lead A/B pack of less than ten. As they came to the line, though, the lead bunch, now shredded to a mere 5, was led by the independent American, David Kessler, who evaded the tax men on the final climb to win the day. Ryan MacDonald and Garret McLeod took second and third.
Craig Holden (Atomic) was the lone B to cling to the lead bunch, and he got the class win for his trouble. Michael Wegner (C4) rolled home not far behind to take second, and Mighty Riders’ Andrew Latreille was a distant but persistent third.
The C race simply fell apart lap after lap, as hypothermic riders pulled off. The hardy winner was Richard Costello, followed by Atomic’s Ben Ford, and Geoff Watts in third.
Barb Morris, a stalwart of the local racing scene, won the C Women. Though dropped from the C pack early, she stayed out, managed her effort, and finished solo, the lone woman to survive the distance, It was a gritty effort, but she was smiling every time she passed the lap board.
In the Youth division, dEVo’s own Quinn Storey took the victory.
Escape Velocity would like to thank the many sponsors that make this racing possible: Catalyst Kinetics, TRG Group Benefits, Sugoi, Cannondale, Bicycle Sports Pacific, Roberts Composites, and Continental Repairs. We’d also like to welcome RBC GranFondo Whistler, who generously gave us some GFW race entries as draw prizes. Look for more GFW entries to be up for grabs at the next Sportif race, on May 11.
Note that the May 11 race, scheduled for Thunderbird Short, will have a start time 1 hour earlier than usual (9:30 race start). For complete details on this race, full results, and the schedule for the rest of the Sportif Series, see our web page: