Posted by Editor on 11/27/00
To Hell and Back - Ontario
(courtesy Mike Barry)
Early on Sunday morning, in miserably wet but not too cold (5 degrees C) conditions, fifty one riders started the second annual edition of the "To Hell and Back". The event was started last year in response to the many requests for a fall edition of the long established "Paris-Roubaix Challenge". The P-R has been run for fifteen years over the worst roads and tracks that we can find between Toronto Zoo and Sutton on Lake Simcoe. The route has changed over the years as municipal authorities pave more roads but one feature remains, an abdominal 10 km stretch of old rail bed which has become known as our "Hell of the North". The event has attracted a wide variety of participants, from Canada's National Champions to many of Toronto's downtown couriers.
Following the requests for a Fall event it was decided to put on the "Hardest and Last Event of the Millennium". On Dec 6th last year 56 hardy souls set off to ride to Sutton and back. Ray Duggan was supreme taking several minutes out of all his rivals to cover the 145km at an average of 30 km/h. Despite the inclusion of some hellish sections of forest track and miserably wet conditions, only four riders didn't make it to the finish. Although it was intended that it would be a once only event, we were persuaded that it should go again this year.
The start was at the Cedar Grove Community Centre which is just north of the Toronto Zoo and the route included a preliminary lap through a rough section before setting of on the gravel roads north. A prime, as the riders passed the start line at the end of the lap, was won by Malcolm Munro (Intersport) just inches ahead of Josh Hall (Jet Fuel). At Whitevale Kevin Lehman (Kiro) and Heath Cockburn (Cervelo) had broken away from the much depleted bunch and established a 30 second lead. This was the start of a long day at the front for Lehman. He soon dropped Cockburn and he never faltered as he tackled the snow, water and mud covered roads and tracks to Sutton. On entering the 'Hell of the North' section (80km) he had been caught by Josh Hall and these two had two minutes over a chase group of three, Ryan Roth (Woodstock), Peter Morse (Trek-Kiro), and Buck Miller (St. Catherines). Lehman was on his own at the end of the section but was soon joined again by Hall. These two stayed together until the Roseville Track section (111km) which is a very rough path through the forest, made even worse yesterday by a couple of inches of wet snow. It was here that Lehman cracked and Hall established a lead which grew to five minutes at the finish. Behind the leaders there was a tussle for third place with Morse and Roth swapping the lead until they too hit the Roseville Track where Roth showed remarkable strength and technical skill for a first year junior, to move into an uncontested third place.
Josh Hall crossed the finish line in five and a half hours; considerable slower than Ray Duggan had covered a five km longer course last year. However Duggan didn't have to contend with snow on the tracks and such cold temperatures. It would be interesting to see the two of them go head to head next year.
At the finish the riders were treated to a hot meal cooked by two of Toronto's finest chefs, Andrew Jack and Chris Mathias. Chris had started the event but forsook his chance of glory by turning back at Stouffville so that he would have time to help Andrew with the cooking.
Despite the conditions, after warming up and consuming the meal and some fine ale supplied by another rider (and McAuslans rep.) Ian Starke, most riders said they would be back again next year.
I would like to thank all those that helped make the event a success: the marshals, who in some cases had two and a half hours to wait between first and last rider; all those that prepared the food at the finish; Ian Starke and McAuslans for some great beer; Krys Hinds who had the unenviable task of driving the broom wagon and riding his bike through all the track sections to ensure that there was no one stranded; Brian Holt who did an immense amount of work in researching the route preparing maps and last, but by no means least, to all the riders for turning out and then showing their appreciation at the finish.
Results. "To Hell and Back" Sunday November 26th 2000
1. Josh Hall Jet Fuel 5:26:19 140Km @ 25.5 km/h
2. Kevin Lehman Kiro 5:31:36
3. Ryan Roth Woodstock 5:35:12
4. Peter Morse Trek-Kiro 5:40:03
5. Alex Vaughn Independent 5:40:43
6. Nigel Gray RNH 5:52:20
7. Matt Kings Independent 5:54:45
8. Peter Phillips Coburg C:C: 6:03:20
9. Attila Hajdu London Centennial Wheelers 6:08:00
10. Heath Cockburn Jet Fuel 6:10:12
11. Ian Starke McAuslans 6:10:12
12. Chris Yeates Independent 6:32:09
13. Adam Lucas Independent 6:33:40
14. Mark Hopper Newmarket Eagles CC 6:41:12
15. Enrici Traini RIM 6:41:55
16. Peter Murk Independent 6:41:56
17. Wayne Hutson Independent 6:47:00
18. Greg Palmer London Off Road CC 6:50:10
19. Leigh Hobson Ziggy's 6:52:10
20. Sean Van Rooyen Local 721 7:02:57
21. Kate Archibald Independent 7:04:39
22. Peter Shirk Independent 7:04:39
23. Lee Orphan Moe's Smoking Tire 7:15:16
24. Dennis Koopman London Centennial Wheelers 7:15:16
25. Michael Thompson Independent 7:16:48
26. Larry Strung Randonneurs Ontario 7:28:08
27. Doug Kerr Independent 7:37:38
28. Steve Barratt Independent 7:59:50
Starters: 51 DNF: 23
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