By Athlete Ambassador, Ron Amos
I have been remiss in my Hammer Athlete blog writing, as it has been a little too long since I tapped the keyboard. The Summer race season is all to quickly approaching closure. The stage racing listed below (in bold) have more than occupied the past 3 months. Racing multi-day races has always been my preference as I feel I get stronger as each race unfolds. This is likely due to the level of fitness I have been fortunate to maintain through the year what with many hours of training completed week after week.
- Canadian National Championships – Time Trial and Road Race
- Coupe des Amériques – 3 stages
- Cascade Cycling Classic – 4 stages
- GP de Matapedia – 6 stages
This year I retained my Canadian National Time Trial Championship title but lost the Road Race title to Lorenzo Caterini who was a better race tactician than me and bested me on the finish line by half a bike length. A few weeks later, I took the lessons learned from the National Road Race and applied them at Coupe des Amériques for the overall win. After which, I packed my race bikes up and flew out to Bend Oregon to race the historic Cascade Cycling Classic. This is a race I hope to return to again next year and maybe have an improved race result amongst that very strong talent pool of riders. Bend Oregon is an amazing high mountain town amassed with active fit people. It was rewarding to be racing the Cascade Cycling Classic along side my Hammer Nutrition teammates, Hunter Ziesing and Todd Parks. But what made the trip most memorable was the wonderful welcoming hospitality of our local Bend, Oregon hosts, Ben and Anouk. They made sure I took in the must do – floating the Deschutes River attraction; which hundreds of locals and visitors partake in, to cool off by floating on rafts and boards through the heart of Bend.
The Highlight race of the past few months though was GP de Matapedia, a 6 stage race held over 5 days. Hammer Nutrition gave me permission to ride as a guest rider for the East Coast Maritime team – Craftsman Construction, which consisted of 6 of us older lads. We were all up for the huge challenge of racing bikes over 5 days and 6 races. We were up against some much younger talent, but we raced as a team and all managed in some small way to help get our teammate Cory Jay to a 5th place over-all after 6 stages. Cory also had two 3rd place podiums on the final two race stages while riding like an accomplished pro he was once many moons ago.
I can’t stress the importance of proper nutrition enough. Taking those few extra minutes to refuel is likely the most important things I do to improve my race day results. The Hammer bar (all flavours) and Hammer Perpetuem – Caffé Latte are my staple training ride nutritional must have. And I’m pretty sure that this “old dog” would not have the ability to race and train day after day without my chocolate flavoured Hammer Recovery drink mix.
My next bike race will be the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont followed up by the Appalachian Classic in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.