In my never-ending quest to add fluency to my current level of the French language I traveled again to Montreal QC last week. I figured that I’d compete in the Canada cup DH race in Mt Tremblant while I was here since coincidentally I had brought my bike with me on this adventure.
Like last year Bryden and I were greeted by our always handsome friend Olivier Laprade (Canadian Intense Brand manager) at the airport with a kiss or two and a big van. We spent the next day getting used to the 2o+ degree weather and relaxing before packing up and heading to Mt Tremblant with Olivier and his better half, the beautiful Claudia.
On the way to Tremblant we made a stop at the “Baton Rouge” for amazing dinner and a glass of wine.
After a solid sleep at the hotel we woke up to a great view of the village, the mountain, and the glorious sun shining. I’ve raced in Quebec several times and have never woken up to such beautiful weather. Il fait beau!
For Fridays practice we were able to get in a couple laps and start to get up to speed on the course. It’s very rocky with some wide-open sections between the technical areas but not super steep, which means you really need to carry your speed through the rough sections. Vitement! It was one of those courses where you felt awesome sometimes and awkward other times. Saturday morning came and we started our day nice and easy, taking our time and dialing in our lines. It was on this run that Bryden had a pretty big crash right in front of me, not something I like to see. Quel dommage. Unfortunately he ended up with an injured wrist and was unable to ride/race, but I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse. The rest of practice went decently and I finished it up by doing a run with Miranda. Always good to ride with her!
Race time came and I knew it could be a tough one to keep clean so I decided to go slow in those rougher sections and then try to pin it in the wide-open parts. Not crashing is always faster than crashing and while it’s always the underlying goal, sometimes it takes a bit more effort than others. It paid off – I had a clean run and was finished 2nd! Miranda took a very solid first place finish – felicitations!! My Intense Canada teammate Vaea Veerbeek finished 7th in her first race back after a major injury last season – nice work!
We headed back to Olivier and Claudia’s place that night and all slept like well fed babies. Since Monday was a holiday and the sun was still givin’er we ventured out for a fun little XC ride on some super smooth flowy trails. Bryden continued to be the ultimate trooper and rode the entire time one handed – I was impressed! It was a perfect way to end a great weekend.
A huge thanks to Olivier and Claudia for all of their hospitality! Also to Sylvain at OGC for providing on site support all weekend, and to my manly man Bryden for being such a good sport and taking photos!
My french is coming along quite nicely as you can tell but it still needs some work so I’ll probably head back to Quebec again sometime in the near future to brush up on a couple things…