Hello All, 

I have been in Quebec for five days now, and I am still very ‘English’. I have had a few confrontations with solely french speaking people, which always result in blank stares. Maybe one of these times I will learn a few basic sentences to avoid these inevitable confrontations.

            Anyways, my first race was Bromont, Canada Cup#2, which is about an hour north east of Montreal. I was greeted with heavy rain much like the previous year, and any cyclist knows, that heavy rain always makes for an interesting race. This being my first year out of Junior, it was also my first year racing with the ‘Big Boys’ in the elite category. Unfortunately, there isn’t a U23/Espoir category on the Canada Cup circuit, so I was racing names like Mat Toulouse for Litespeed / Maxxis and Jeremiah Bishop for Trek / VW. This is all a little bit intimidating to say the least, but thankfully there is very little outside pressure, which allows me to just race my own race and see how I fair with Canada’s best.

This was my first Canada Cup of the year, so I had no UCI points and was therefore near the back of the 74 rider elite category.  It didn’t take long for me to be completely covered in mud, about 30 seconds actually, and there was still 6 laps left in the race. When the race was finally over I had been in the saddle for nearly 3 hours; the longest MTB race for me ever. It was then that I decided to nickname that race, “The Race of Extreme Displeasure”. Very suiting I thought. I ended up finishing fairly well for a first year espoir, and was happy enough with the result.

That night I went to a local brewery / pub for dinner, which was great but, I was more intrigued by the urinal. It was a metal trough, with water continuously running down the wall. I realize you probably have no idea what I am talking about, but keep in mind that I was probably still delirious from the race. Now I just have to figure out what the highlight of the trip has been so far: the urinal or being done with the ‘Race of Extreme Displeasure’.

I am now off to Mont Tremblant, Canada Cup #3, for the last race of my trip to Quebec. I am looking forward to coming home because…well, let’s face it; watching TV in French just doesn’t have the same effect.

You Stay Classy,

I’m Andrew Thomas

PS. For full results of the Canada Cups, check www.canadiancyclist.com