“Master A Tough” in St-Raymond

When you drive to a race in the rain, you can feel the added nervousness in the car. As you approach the race site and turn the radio down, people speak in shorter sentences. They laugh a bit too hard at any jokes, as their eyes scout any visible portions of the course. Then there’s a standard set of complaints, or negative comments, as they step out of the car and into puddles: “This is going to suck!” etc.

Getting caught in the rain is usually ok, but starting in the pouring rain… The worst case is getting soaked at the start line of a crit while listening to instructions as you notice all the traces of gasoline and oil glimmering on the first corner. I’ve done a few crits like that. You just try to stay on the front while listening to the crashes behind you.

Some guys, however, LOVE the rain. They love it when it’s cold and wet, and they love getting all Paris Roubaix.

The gritty, soft-spoken Sean Kelly making everyone's legs scream at Paris Roubaix

Here’s Toguri Training’s Rod Matheson (Synergy) and JF Houpert (Synergy) soaking up the fun at St Raymond:

Rod: "Sigh, my booties are holding 2lbs of water." JF: "Doh! I forgot my booties, but it's ok. My feet are numb." ©2010 Antoine Bécotte

Ok, they’re not as gritty as Sean Kelly, and they’re not riding over cobbles, but they are racing in the rain with droopy arm warmers. That’s “Master A Tough”!

Eventually, the storm cleared and slick François Doyon (Quilicot-Rackultra) won a comfortable sprint from Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Curaprox) and several others who had creeped 30 sec up the road from the field.

"Your kung fu is good... " ©2010 Antoine Bécotte

"but not good enough!" ©2010 Antoine Bécotte

Matheson performed a stylish, soaking seated sprint for 16th place, though he could no longer remember where he parked the car.

Matheson, second from the right. ©2010 Antoine Bécotte

Luckily Houpert rolled in a few riders back and had a photo of the vehicle in his back pocket. Towel off; change to dry clothes; hop in the car; radio on; drive home.

About Scott Toguri McFarlane

Scott Toguri McFarlane is a former Elite racer, and the founder of Toguri Training Services. For more than a decade, his approach to training has helped aspiring professional racers, provincial team members, and recreational cyclists of all ages and ability achieve their goals, including gold medals at National and Provincial Championships.

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