The Nacsworld.com Norco team is a group of road racers from the Toronto area. Focussing on the men’s Masters 35+ catagory, the team follows the Ontario race circuit on their 2012 Norco CRRs. Here is a recap of their latest race, the annual Springbank criterium in London Ontario.
If you would like to keep up to date with the teams race season check out their facebook page.
This weekends race was the annual Springbank criteriums in London. This race has been running continuously for around 40 years and is organized by the cycling club, the London Centenial Wheelers. This year the Master 1 racers were combined with the young elite ‘senior’ level 1 and level 2 racers. The race was 34 laps of a 2KM circuit. The circuit is a fast loop with a flat fairly wide run to the finish which comes after an always slightly tricky chicane which often catches out many riders when they ‘run out’ of road and get ‘squeezed’ off to the side. Good thing that there was very good weather this year, as those fast corners can be slippery when wet. (And who wants to race in bad weather?).
The pace was high as ever, and the first major breakaway group of the day gained a good half of a minute advantage by the half way mark of the race. This group contained multiple race winner Jeff Schiller of London and Peter Morse of Toronto, but with some strong pulling at the front of the main Peloton by several riders from teams that weren’t represented including our team members Adrian Jackson, Justin Rogers and Mike Steed this group was brought back to the fold. Immediately that this group was brought back some more attacks came with groups moving ahead. Steve McKee and Lawrence were active in these groups but all the racers came back together. As the race was drawing to a close with only 3 laps remaining Lawrence Akot got himself into a fantastic move with a select group moving ahead by about 10 seconds. They, unfortunately were brought back into the peloton with only one lap remaining and the stage was set for ‘last lap mayhem’. There was lots of bumping and desperate struggles for good positions during the last lap with riders trying to not be right at the front so that they have the burden of being first into the wind and giving others shelter but also not too far back that it would be difficult to move up on the narrow roads that are only around 10 feet wide. Also, everyone was super alert to being ‘swarmed’ as in this situation it’s so easy to be in a great position one moment and the next, you’re trapped as large groups pass on one side and hem you in. Luckily two of the team managed to stay in fairly good positions coming into the finish. Kevin Davis was desperately trying to follow Jeff Schiller and was hoping that his team mates would be keeping the pace very high to discourage late attacks. As Schiller seemed to drift back too far with about 300 Metres remaining, Davis passed him to move up in the group as he was starting to get trapped. He had to fight to untangle from a few riders as the final sprint for the finish line started with about 200 Metres remaining and some other riders managed to get the ‘jump’ on him. He found clear road and started his sprint at around the same time as Schiller, who appeared at his side with about 150 Metres remaining. Schiller has an incredible acceleration which has won him many races in the past including the prestigious ‘Queens Park Grand Prix’. He used this acceleration to good effect and quickly gained a 3 Metre advantage on everyone else. At 50 Meters remaining Davis had also got up to his full speed using the top gear ratio on his Norco, and was ahead of the rest of the field trying to catch Schiller. Too late and Schiller got to the line first with Davis second over the line and finishing first M1 rider. Steve McKee was just behind 9th over the line and 7th M1.