I was not overly excited for this race to say the least. For those who don’t know, UBC Grand Prix is in the shape of a letter ‘P’ except the ‘square’ part in this case was significantly smaller then the ‘stick’ part. The big feature and truly the hardest part of the course was the 180 degree turn around on the straight away. This is where riders would scrape pedals, slide out or in one case go over the handle bars… Not sure how that happened but Jet Fuel managed to carve the Norco Tactic around the 180 degree corner with ease.
Further, I knew it would be detrimental to start at the front of the pack. This meant lining up really early. Right after the women finished I proceeded to take a lap of the course and sign in. After one lap almost half the racers had already lined up. So much for that plan.
Off the gun I was far back. And I mean far back. After about 20 laps of gaining positions then losing them I basically told myself I wasn’t going to finish well and I should save myself. After thinking about it I decided I would try to move up as far as I could even if I blew myself up trying. I managed to move up spots almost every lap. With about 15 laps to go, I wanted the win bad. I moved myself up to sit pretty at about the 20th wheel.
My heart began to elevate as the laps-to-go decreased. More and more adrenaline begun oozing through my vessels giving me a dose of energy beyond imaginable. “5 laps to go Brandon, move up, Sprint, Sprint, SPRINT!! Soon after I could hear the faint sound of church bells which progressively flourished into what I realized was 1 lap to go. I put the hammer down on the stretch before the 180 degree turn around. I dodged a crash but unfortunately I should have used a little bit more gas to move up a bit further because one rider let a gap go which couldn’t be closed due to UHC killing it on the front. I managed to finish 10th which I was pleased with.
Not many riders finished the race due to crashes, riders letting go of wheels, and just the true harshness of the race. 101 riders started the race but only 37 crossed the finish line.