O Canada! This past weekend the Donnelly Pro Team made its way north of the border for the Silver Goose - Pan Am Championships held at Little Lake Park, Ontario. The weekend consisted of a UCI C2 race on Saturday and the championship race on Sunday. Some racers opted out of Saturday's race, but Lance Haidet and Laurel Rathbun used it to open up their legs for Sunday's big show. With tricky over-cambers, sand ruts, punchy climbs and some mud, the course got rave reviews from the team!
Slick conditions on Saturday had racers throwing on their PDX tubulars at low pressures for maximum traction and control. "It was a slippin’ and slidin’ kinda day out there," said Laurel. "I had a good start, but got caught in first lap crash and ended up tangled in the course tape and then had to chase." Laurel went from last place to 16th overall after the long fight back. She went on to say, "I felt really good, legs felt fresh and I got into a rhythm passing people - my last lap was 20 seconds faster than any lap before which is the first time that has ever happened!"
The course dried overnight so the team hung up the PDX tires and opted for the fast and grippy LAS treads. Laurel had another great start and avoided any mishaps to slot in to the top ten for a few laps. "My legs started to feel really flat after two laps and I was losing my ability to punch it out of corners," said Laurel. "I’m not sure if that’s being tired from the day before or a little too much 'fan-girling' earlier in the day for Lance!" Laurel finished 13th on the day and just shy of her top ten goal.
Laurel heads back to Indianapolis to prepare for her next race, the Major Taylor Cross Cup hosted at her very own Marian University on November 17th and 18th.
Unfortunately for Lance, the weekend was a bit of a let down. He has centered much of his training and preparation to have great Sunday in Ontario, but lady luck was not on his side.
Lance's plan was to use Saturday’s race as a warm up for the Pan Am Championship on Sunday. As expected, his legs were a bit flat at the start and he found himself dangling off the front group for most of the race. "On the last lap I was fighting for 6th place when I snapped my chain just as I was cresting the top of one of the short steep climbs. Just too much power I guess," said Lance jokingly. He was forced to run most of the last lap and ended up holding on for 13th place. Aside from the bad luck, Lance had a good feeling going into the next race.
On Sunday Lance was ready to fire on all cylinders, but in hindsight he acknowledged a tactical error. "I was able to get really good start off the line, but rather than keeping on the gas to take the lead, I hesitated on the long start stretch and ended up getting swarmed," said Lance. An ensuing crash had him trying to bunny hop a racer, but ultimately he found himself being ejected over the bars. Lance went on to say, "After picking myself up and untangling my bike, I was miles behind the leaders and pretty frazzled. I ended up crashing again, dropping my chain, and tangling with riders as I tried to move my way through the field. It was mentally hard to keep myself from pulling the plug." At the end of the day, Lance crossed the line in a disappointing 12th place.
Looking on the bright side Lance's disappointment and frustration has definitely stoked the fire for the rest of the season. "I am heading back home to reset a little before the prep for Nationals begins," said Lance. "I’m stoked to be racing the SoCal State Championship in my hometown this weekend. It’s going to be rad!"
Rider Tire Selection and Pressure
Laurel Rathbun (Sat.)
Front: PDX / 20 psi
Rear: PDX / 21 psi
Lance Haidet (Sat.)
Front: PDX / 21 psi
Rear: PDX / 23 psi
Laurel Rathbun (Sun.)
Front: LAS / 24 psi
Rear: LAS / 25 psi
Lance Haidet (Sun.)
Front: LAS / 22 psi
Rear: LAS / 23 psi
Donnelly Professional Cycling Team Sponsors
Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY
RenoCross – Reno, NV
Trek CXC World Cup – Waterloo, WI
Jingle Cross World Cup – Iowa City, IA
West Sacramento Grand Prix – Sacramento, CA
US Open of Cyclocross – Boulder, CO
Cincy CX Festival - Cincinnati, OH
Silver Goose CX Festival - Midland, ON, Canada
Major Taylor Cross Cup - Indianapolis, IN
Resolution Cross Cup - Garland, TX
Ruts N Guts CX – Broken Arrow, OK
USA National Championships – Louisville, KY
UCI World Championships – Bogense, Denmark
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Team Mechanic and Product Manager James Sullivan