There is a first time for everything, and this week proved to be just like that. First time to Canada, first UCI podium.
After arriving in Canada after Tulsa and Philly, we had an entire week to enjoy the serene Gatineau Park, and taste the local cuisine.
After 4 days of training and waiting, we were all very anxious to race. We were done visiting Gatineau, and were ready for La Grande Visite de Gatineau!
Our host family was a local legend, owning a franchise of bike shops, Peccos, around Canada, and famous for his 5 course meals! Each night we were gâté (spoiled) with complete meals that would take 3 hours to eat! We relinquished control of our normal habits and immersed ourselves into the French lifestyle. C’est la vie. When in Rome, or in this case, when in Quebec, do as they do!
La Grande Visite de Gatineau, a new UCI race this year proved to be a huge success. It was a two day race, although not a stage race.
The first stage was a 17.7k time trial along a highway in Gatineau named after the women who made matches for the war, Les Aluminiterres. 3 members of the team could do the time trial. It was a difficult time trial, and a very hard effort, as time trials should be! I soon found out I had placed 3rd! Yee Haw! And true to the French flair of Canada, we were greeted with a festive awards ceremony complete with a trophy! You have to love the trophy!
The second stage was a circuit race around the town and into the outskirts of the park. It was a hard, fast race but try as we might, a break was not going to stick. With 5k to go, we braced ourselves for the inevitable sprint finish out of a roundabout! JoK rocketed into a 2nd place.
Two UCI podiums for Team TIBCO over the weekend, wrapped it up with another 5 course meal dans le parc de Gatineau, and we are off to Minnesota for Nature Valley. Au revoir, Canada. I will return. Merci beaucoup!