Milano by Josh
Milan was the official end to the 2017 season for Team iBike. Yes there are a few CX races left but they remain fun training sessions. What a season! Me, the ‘old guy’, I had a great time in Milano! Visiting the Cinelli factory, attending private art gallery openings, conversations with multiple fixie famous crews, doing my warm up on rollers inside the Team Cinelli Chrome tent next to Mr. Vigano, networking for the team and eating Italian food all made for a very memorable experience. As for the race, it was Mardis Des Cyclistes fast but on fixed gear bikes.
The race was a repeat of massive intervals and very little rest time. On every lap, speeds were peaking at over 50k/hr on 2 different straights and rest time was when you were taking 90 degree turns in technical sections. Rest time taking turns on fixed gear bike is where mistakes would be met with concrete consequences. Not really rest time. Fast, technical and amongst full UCI pros made for the fastest fixed gear race I have ever participated in. In the ‘red’ the whole race, yet I was able to finish 26th in my heat of 70 riders qualifying me for the last chance race. I started in about 50th position and finished near 25th position, I never checked my final results. All in all I ranked about 110th out of 350 of the world’s best fixed gear riders. Stoked but already thinking about next year.
What can I improve on? I need to somehow access that 20 year old killer instinct I used to have. That instinct where you dive into the corners without thinking but rather knowing you’re your coming out on the other side ahead of the others. At 50k/hr there is no time to think you have to go! Next year, I will work on both my mental and physical preparation with equal vigor. They both have important roles in improving and this old guy is not done improving! I will finish a RHC race before I am done. It’s a goal and not yet sure if I will have to admit defeat or if I can actually attain it. Every year I get faster, but the race is doing the same thing. My gains need to grow at a quicker rate than the community at large. Can I do it? Sure going to try.
Every year the team grows, expands and develops. Our star, Raphaele Lemieux has given the team a strong place within the international scene. iBike has helped other riders achieve elite levels of success like Raph and with that success comes semi-professional contracts from other bigger teams willing to cover some or all of the costs related to our expensive sport. It has been a serious battle for our small team to retain the talent that allows for growth. Raphaele is Team iBike and we feel blessed to have her on the Team. The whole team is going to benefit from her success. Her modest, humble and wise approach to our semi-professional sport is a blessing for the team. Merci Raph!
That being said, a rider like Raphaele choosing to come out of cycling retirement to ride for a team says a lot about the iBike base. Team iBike is so much more than just Raph. The people that make up team iBike are from vast backgrounds and ages. The common threads tying us together is our loves for bikes, the belief that they can change our city and the value that the whole is more important than the individual. Every single person that has been part of iBike over the years is the reason iBike has developed to current levels of success. Every single person deserves to feel as though they had a role in the success of Raph and the team.
The veterans that are still kicking – Vince, Franck, Pascal, Marc, Maxim, Martin, Carole, Gophrette, Dave, Charlie, Fast Freddy, Tyrrell, Pipe, Charles, Marilou, Guirec, David, Jasmine ….. The riders that have joined recently – Nicolas, Massimo, Melissa, MathieuL, MatthieuT, Nicolas2, Andreas, Adisson, Gab, Sacha, Denis, Marjolaine, Alexandre, Maxine. Thank you thank you thank you! You are iBike!
Lastly, a big shout out to Clément Ouimet. Even as a member of another team for the 2017 season he still remained a part of the Team iBike private FB group. He was, and always will be part of the team! RIP bra! Montréal and cycling within the city will be forever changed because of you!