Today was Ontario’s 6th race of the 2015 season. The Ontario Grand Prix has been around for quite some time. It’s a great learning race for Southern California riders. And that’s exactly what today was for our team.
This season I began mentoring the TRU cycling team. It’s a great Southern California development squad. They picked up quite a bit of riders this season, and many showed true, or should I say, “TRU”? Potential.
Today was a demonstration of what we are trying to do with the program. John Janneck (today’s winner), came to us at the beginning of the season as a category 4 rider. He was very strong at team camp. But he was also very respectable as well as a trust worthy teammate. Something we pride the team in being – (Trust, Respect, Unity). He has had a few bad spells (crashes / injuries) throughout the season that held him back for a bit. But as you can tell, he is coming around.
In today’s pre race meeting, the plan was somewhat simple. We had one of the biggest team representations in numbers out there. So we needed to show that. The boys love to race aggressively. So we set out to be in every move, with every rider pulling their weight. Even if they were suffering. I for one, am coming back from a pelvis injury I suffered at Tour of the Gila, so I told the boys I would cover anything they couldn’t and we discussed a lead out situation as a back up plan. But I was banking on a breakaway with today’s weather conditions. Being in the race with them, I am able to guide them on what to do in certain situations.
Before the start, the rain began to come down, the wind was increasing, and the temperature was thankfully dropping. This would normally increase the odds of a breakaway succeeding. However, that wasn’t the case today. We launched numerous attacks, as well as followed many. There were some very hard efforts being put down by the field, but it just seemed like everyone wanted to be in “the winning move”.
Right from the gun Thomas Adamson and Mike Russell found themselves off the front for our team, which put us on the offensive side (a good thing). We then set up behind the peloton and always made sure we had at least one rider in the break (keeping us from riding to bring anything back). I noticed a lull (hesitation by the riders) as riders were tired from chasing down a break that had myself, Hunter Grove, and a couple other riders in. So when I saw John, I yelled for him to attack. (Sometimes they just need a nudge to know when to go.)
John attacked and immediately his gap increased. We set up once again as he rode for a few laps by himself. There was quite a bit confusion in the peloton that caused one of our riders to try and bridge across (valuable learning experience) and John was soon caught.
We were headed into 3 laps to go when I found a perfect opportunity to put us on the offensive side of things once again. So I shot up the right side and gave a false attack effort. I looked back and the field was strung out. As the riders caught me, everyone seemed content with a field sprint. So we gathered up the boys and got into position.
On the finishing lap I found our sprinter. He was feeling good and got on my wheel as planned. I began moving him up, but the other riders fought for my wheel, and I lost him rounding turn 3 of 6. I looked back and saw that Janneck was on my wheel. I then looked ahead and saw Thomas in great position (as always) and knew I needed to get us to him. We went into turn 4 and Thomas took the line to the right as I took John to the left. We shot up the inside into position and John came around with momentum as he should. I saw he was going to make a slight hesitation that would cost him, so once again I yelled for him to go!
He put in an all out effort about 800 meters from the line. Barreling through the final left with a gap on all of the riders. Thomas licking his lips to be back up sprinter, in great position. But the gap was too much for the other riders and his speed was unmatchable. John crossed the line for the win with a couple bike lengths gap, as Thomas and myself rolled in happily for our teammate. In true Janneck fashion, he came up to us and thanked us for our efforts and belief in him. He also rewarded us with our favorite post team celebration. Yogurtland of course.
By Anthony Canevari, Canyon Bicycles – Shimano and TRU Cycling Mentor
Photo © Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com