Over 1,000 riders showed up Sunday for what has come to be known as a Canadian Spring Classic - the 12th Annual Paris-Ancaster 60k Enduro just outside of Hamilton, Ontario. The 60k Enduro is an epic point-to-point race with a course consisting of rail trail, dirt farm lanes, singletrack, gravel fire roads, and pavement. Participants use either mountain bikes or cross bikes in the event.
Mike Simonson (Bell's Beer) of Clarkston, Michigan took charge only several miles after the start, as the course made a hard right-hand transition from dirt rail trail to a coarse gravel road. He never looked back.
Riding away from the group, Simonson made a solo breakaway that took him all the way to the finish line. Several riders put together a strong chase group in an attempt to run him down, and nearly succeded catching Simonson at the base of the last climb - a 1km rutted fire road climb of steep grade. However, as chase group front runner Josh Hall (Jet Fuel Coffee) approached, Simonson shifted his Trek XO cyclocross bike two gears higher and walked away from Hall, putting 40 seconds on the chase-weary rider in the last kilometer.
Mike came into the race unsure of his form after having to rearrange his training schedule to meet the demands of his 45 hour per week day job. Obviously, the job has been good for him.
Also putting forth a strong ride on Sunday was Bell's Beer rider Jason Lummis, finishing 25th overall after struggling early on with a saddle that came unbolted during the first few miles of the race. Bell's Team Director, Jason Aric Jones, rounded out the list of top 100 finishers.