Freed from the requirement to work as a volunteer, I was able to watch my little cup cake ie my friends’ son take part in Les Rondes du St Laurent. Last year it had been his first race after I’d set him on the path to cycling stardom. Sadly, he didn’t follow my advice and allowed the youngster who was regional and departmental champion – and a year older – to sit on his wheel and come around him on the line. One year on had he learned his lesson?
He attacked early to distance the rest of the field, including the kid who beat him last year and who is now a “cadet” while my cup cake is still a “minime”. In fact, the rest of the field finished half a lap behind the winning duo. My cup cake didn’t drop everyone, the regional and departmental cadet champion, a lad two years’ older than him, had stuck relentlessly to his wheel and took over the lead in the final few circuits. My cup cake, having learnt his lesson last year, stuck to the older boy’s wheel. It might also have helped that his Dad was riding behind him, albeit at a respectable distance, to better observe his son’s race tactics.
My cup cake has raced pretty much all year and is now feeling somewhat fatigued but it’s difficult prising him off the bike even for a day. His Dad’s just going to have to confiscate it! A decent rest is important to aid recovery particularly when you’ve made as much progress as he has this year. I couldn’t be prouder of him if he were mine. Actually, a couple of people did ask if he were my son. Which is pretty flattering since I could easily be his grandmother. Moving along swiftly.
He, stuck to the older lad’s wheel with grim determination and, just before the finish line, my cup cake launched what he hoped was his race winning attack at the summit of the final climb. He may have just edged in front but the road dips down to the finish and the older boy managed to put in a race winning spring to the line. My cup cake mustered an impressive bike throw over the line but it was in vain. He’d been beaten by a bigger and, for the moment, faster opponent.
Rather than award him first prize in his age category, the club gave him second prize in the higher category. I’m assuming this was a cup sparing move otherwise they’d have had to give him two cups and one of the most dreadful bouquets I think I’ve ever seen. Florists are delighted to be able to bundle up any flowers they have left on a Sunday and pass them on to cycling clubs. They tend to contain one of everything available and come in multi-shades, defying anyone to make a decent flower arrangement. I had moved the club away to smaller mono-toned bouquets which the winners could easily carry home on the bike. But I see the club has reverted to its previous unfortunate practice. There are plenty of instances where bigger is better and variety is the spice of life but bouquets aren’t one of them.
Sadly, no one has assumed my role as “World’s oldest podium girl” and I was tempted to step in but as I hadn’t seen many of the racers for a while, I’d already pretty much kissed all the younger, good-looking ones. Equally sad was the number of ex-club riders on the podium, there wasn’t a single winner from the home team. I did take down a selection of home-made cakes which were gratefully received and was delighted to see that one of the other wives had made some savoury cakes for the post-podium apero. Home-made are so much nicer than those from the supermarkets and add a nice personal touch to the proceedings.