Things turned around quickly for Whistlers Will Routley last week.
After crashing and breaking his handlebars in the muddy and miserable national mountain bike championships, Routley was back on his road bike a few days later for the Tour de Gastown in Vancouver on Wednesday, July 21.
The Tour de Gastown is the second of three events that make up the Superweek Series in the Lower Mainland, one of the top road racing events on the entire west coast. Most of the top North American teams take part in Superweek, which includes the Tour de Delta which Routley missed because he was mountain biking at the national championships the Tour de Gastown and the Tour de White Rock.
Although he flatted out early in the Gastown race, which put the podium out of reach, a replacement wheel and 40,000 cheering spectators helped him move to the front of the chase pack.
"It actually went really well. I ended up in one of the early breaks with all the top guys and was feeling pretty strong out there before I flatted out," said Routley. "I didnt get the tire replaced quickly enough so I wound up with the main group instead of the break, but I stayed in front of that group for the whole way."
At the end of the ride Routley was in 23 rd place out of 150 starters.
"It was a pretty exciting night for me. I was happy after so much travelling in the last month to be able to race that well, and see my teammates do so well.
"I was feeling so good that that night I actually made a prediction for (the Tour de) White Rock. I was going to go for the win, and the way I felt I thought I could do it."
The Tour de White Rock is a three-stage road race with a timed hill climb on Friday, a criterium around White Rock on Saturday and a 135 km road race on Sunday.
Routley finished fourth out of 180 riders in the hill climb. Cam Evans and Andrew Pinfold, Routleys teammates, were first and third respectively in the climb, showing the other riders why theyve emerged as one of the top teams in western North America in only two years.
In a brutal criterium on the following day, Routley finished sixth overall. Pinfold and Evans were second and third in that race.
"It was scorching hot," said Routley. "There wasnt a patch of shade on the whole course, and the riders were going pretty much full out the entire time. Its not my best event, but I was happy to put in another solid race.