This year the team experienced highs and lows at the Nationals. A bronze medal in the time trial, and a bad break of an arm were front and centre for us.
Having the race in Ontario was great since it meant low travel times and more rest for the riders. The first event was the time trial in Belfountain. One of our Under 23 riders, Matteo Dal Cin, won a bronze medal and was 11th overall. Ed Veal, though disappointed, did a great ride also with 13th place. Matteo shows much promise for the future, a bronze at the Nationals is hard to win. This top result comes just a week after his win at the Preston Street Crit.
Next up was the road race in Milton. Each lap saw the race go up to Rattlesnake Point on one of the steepest roads in the country. The first lap was a chaotic race for position on the climb. High speeds, a couple of crashes, and a long single file of 160 riders meant big gaps would form early. Half the riders were out of contention in the first 20km. Unfortunately, our rider Steve Meyer, was caught up in a crash and broke his arm and wrist. Osmond Bakker and Ed went on the attack early for Jet Fuel, with Osmond staying in the main group to finish 25th. Ed was forced out with a flat.
Last race was the criterium in Georgetown. Jet Fuel/LaBicicletta was again on hand with the bike display tent and much appreciated espresso. The course for this race was one lane wide, hilly, and had a lot of corners. It was so technical that if you didn’t start in the first 20 riders you had little to no chance at seeing the front. Ed Veal was off to a great start by attacking from the gun. That guaranteed him a spot in the selection of top riders. Osmond was close to the front too, but faded as most did from the effort of the riding the road race the day before. Only 16 riders finished with Ed in there for 16th. Pretty impressive for any of these guys considering the size of the field and blistering speed of the race.
Overall the team did very well. If we could say before the races that we’d come away with a medal at the Nationals, I think we’d take it. Steve Meyer’s arm will heal in no time. He’s had a great season so far, and will look to the future with renewed vigour. The Nationals will be at the same location in 2012. Jet Fuel/LaBicicletta looks forward to more chances of success there next year.