The first ever AWI team race was this past weekend down there near Hamilton, going from Paris to Ancaster. Leaving at some redicilus hour on Sunday morning we headed down and got there with lots of time to get suited up and cruise around showing off our kits. Of course since we don't have our actual kits yet we used the outfits that have inspired our actual race kits. We also borrowed some aero helmets from Brandon to top it all off.
With our cruise around complete we lined it up in the start pen and everyone was loving the "Mandem". I'm sure lots were intimidated since we were killing it last year and only doing poorly because of mechaincals. we had no excuse this year. The bike was running smooth, and well, we were in pink and purple spandex.
Anyway the gun went off and we turned it to 11 blazing up the side of the road with Tristan screaming "tandem on your right!!!". Got into a pretty good position for the railtrail and tried to hang on to the insane pace. I have never seen the pace so high on that section.
We backed off a bit and let all the heros kill their legs in the first 5 km. Once we made the hard right hander and got past that loose gravel climb we started picking people off. Going by a group, they would hold on for a bit then we would just keep moving up. Not too far in we had a slip up with the chain guide and we had flashbacks of last year. We were stopped on the side of the road scrambling to fix it up. Got it going again, but shortly after my seat came loose doing a remount and during a running section we had to pull out the tools and make another quick pit stop. By that point we had moved way back in the group and knew it was impossible to reach our goal now. Rode the trail sections smooth in the first half and we were working hard to get back in it.
After the halfway point we took a crash on a muddy downhill and had some guys enjoying our riding style and staying with us just to sandbag on the roads and sit on our wheel. Not too long after that the line of guys just sitting in so we started doing randon attacks. I had had enough of people not working with us, and just sitting there so we were trying to lose them. On the cross wind sections i was riding along the far ditch so nobody could sit beside us out of the wind. The second long railtrail section we had a few guys on and were reeling people in like no other. A bunch of the tried to jump on the pain train too but by the end of the straight we only had 4 guys left. I feel we put the hurt into some people doing that, but also into ourselves. That went right into a muddy run/walk section which was followed by a refuel energy bar stop. Legs were fried and still had probably 10km left. Rode it fairly slow, tried to find somone we knew to finish up with, and managed to splash through the mud chutes and ruin our white shoes. We had come across Scott Luscombe and did the secret hand signal saying we aren't losing to him. Put the hammer down and lost him up the final climb. Tons of pain but it was worth it. We ended up being 8 minutes slower than last year and a lot of places lower. We ended 1st tandem and 177th overall, which means we were both first and last i guess. Got our free lunch and got the frack out of there as soon as we could. Got hame and dranks some beer. Time to get ready for the next AWI race. Might even have real kits by then.