Ottawa racing season kicks off with Clarence-Rockland

Emily Flynn
Emily Flynn. Photo by Zara Ansar.

— By Emily Flynn

April 6th marked two very important things (1) the celebration of my birth and (2) the Ottawa bike racing season opener, the Ride with Rendall Clarence Rockland Classic. The Stevens boys had a good contingent out and I was representing the women’s team.

In its fifth year, the race attracted 117 starters despite doubts over what the course would be like with this wonderful spring/winter we are having.

My goals going into the race were to stick with the pack on the climbs as long as I could, race smart and hope to come out on top. Happily, I think those were all successfully met.

Shortly after the start, a four-man breakaway got up the road, including our very own DS, Chris Reid. I hung on to the group for the first hour, getting dropped when the Stevens boys started to pick it up to catch them. With some strategic team work Stevens rider Ben Andrew was able to make his way up and finished in a solid fifth for the day.

I came in a couple minutes back and as the full results haven’t yet been posted [NOTE: first woman, and 39th overall] I don’t know exactly where I placed overall, but believe it’s my best result overall at the race to date. Afterwards, as always, the racers enjoyed a hearty pasta meal and shared their stories from the day. it was a good birthday indeed!

Thanks so much to Ride with Rendall for another great race and all the work that was put into it.

Next week is the first Ontario Cup and team race at Calabogie Speedway … stay tuned.