Race Report

April 17, 2012

WCC’s Adam Poll “cleans up” at Paris to Ancaster!

WCC Race Team member Adam Poll finished 45th out of over 1200 riders and 11th in his age catergory! Congratulations Adam!

Here’s the inside scoop into Adam’s Race Day experience:

The day started off nice and early with a lot of moisture in the air. I had hopes that it would stay there and not make its way to the ground but as 9 am rolled around in Paris it started to rain. My first attempt at warming up resulted in me being cold and wet, fortunately a few minutes later the rain calmed down and stayed at a steady drizzle for the next 2 hours or so.

We hit the start line at 10:05 and I knew my work was cut out for me. I would guess that we lined up about 2/3 of the way back in a wave of 500 riders. The horn went and we were off, sorry, I mean we stood there for another anxious 45 seconds as the field in front pulled away. I got clipped in quickly but was blocked and immediately fell behind the rest of the club mates, time to give it everything. Rolling out onto the gravel road I was up to speed and making up ground. As we turned onto the Paris – Cambridge rail trail I went flying up the inside of the turn and got in front of all the other WCC jerseys and a lot of other riders that were in the way. The next 10 km were spent closing gaps and going around riders on the grass a long the trail – also getting the first good taste of water/mud/grit of the day. This section finishes with a sharp right hand turn straight up the hill and away from the Grand River. It is always really loose gravel and very hard to ride, especially as a couple hundred cyclists bottle neck into it. Once again, I put a flyer up the inside and put my cross skills to good use with a nice, fast dismount. Fortunately these ridiculously long legs can run when they absolutely have to and I made my way past quite a few riders.

The next 30 km involved a lot of chasing on the road sections by myself and sliding around on the edge of control or running it through the worst of the mud sections – you now its bad when I choose running over cycling. With around 20 km to go I finally got into a group of guys who were willing to work together and share the load. This was a big relief as fatigue was starting to kick in and I had buried myself pretty deep in the opening half of the race to get clear of the majority of Wave 1. We setup a nice paceline and started closing gaps and picking up riders in front to add to our numbers. This race gets nice and hilly the closer you get to the finish and that was the end of the group for the most part. A group of about three of us kept powering on and soon enough we were at the infamous powerline mudslide. I’ve never hit this section so high up in the race and the mud actually wasn’t as deep as years past. That’s not to say it wasn’t deep, but only ankle deep instead of swallow your shoe never to be seen again deep. With the way my brakes were working (not) and having not fallen yet I made the decision to hop off and run it down the hill (duathlon in my future? NO!). I made it to the bottom without any injuries and on through Mineral springs down to the

The bottom of the climb was all eroded with large rocks and mud making it a slow grind to finish off the race. As I approached the final few 100 m of the race I was down to my lowest gear and out of the saddle at a very slow pace but making it up. The climb cleared and a short sprint to the line for a time of 2:05:45 and an unofficial placing of 46th. My goal coming in was to make the top 100, so mission accomplished. It felt especially good as this was the first bicycle race I ever did four years ago. That year I finished 688 and was excited at the time to be close to midpack! I never dreamed at that point that a top 50 was possible so don’t give up! Congratulations also go out to all the other riders sporting the WCC colors and representing the club at this epic event.

– Adam Poll

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WCC Administrator


  1. jparkin

    Well done Adam and good show by WCC. It was a very togh slog through the mud along much of the way -- made for a very tough 60KM. I finished mid pack (699th) and happy with that. Thanks Adam for your account of the race

  2. francqlife

    Thanks for all the tips and advice over the past month.

    …and for the ride to the start.

    …and paying for parking.

    …and for the wet chain lube in the rain.

    …and for the tweets at the end.

    …and for the bike, on which I rode !

    Thanks Adam.

  3. Morten

    In retrospect, I totally understand You were starting to get cold when we were chatting at the finish -- You’d been waiting 27 minutes and change already when I rolled over the line 🙂

    Congrats on a solid Race and achievement.

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