This Sunday Carson Miles and Noah Simms will test their Van Dessel gravel bikes at the first major test of the Canadian spring campaign: Paris to Ancaster. Carson will be on an aluminum A.D.D. and Noah will be flying the team issue Full Tilt Boogie.
The atmosphere and culture of P2A is a blast even if the competition is intense. The race will be in its 26th year (!) but for the last 3 editions, the winner has been Gunnar Holmgren. Gunnar is now an ancient 19 years old, which means he first won P2A when he was 16. To all the snot-dripping moustached pros and wily local strongmen who have been beaten by this knobby-kneed kid: you can now be compared to all those dandruffed men wearing turtlenecks and tweed jackets who lost chess games to Bobby Fischer while he was on his way to becoming a Grandmaster at the age of 15!
Gunnar ‘Grandmaster’ Holmgren has represented Canada at both MTB and CX Worlds, so he’s not bad at riding the farm paths, short gravel sectors and P2A’s famous Powerline Road Mudslide. Here’s race director Tim Farrar describing the slippery slope:
A lot of the brush was cleared in 2017 but the grunts followed by face plants are still abundant.
But here’s the thing: gravel and multi-surface races like P2A are attracting more and more riders each year. The racing is getting tougher but participation, personal challenge and being part of the action is still the name of the game. As for Gunnar, rumour has it that Ryan Roth (X-Speed United) might make an appearance, and that he’s been secretly training on a Malaysian island riding on the roots of rubber plants. The Norco Factory mtb team will be there too. Carson and Noah will be hanging out at the Grupetto Café in Dundas swilling muddy cortados in preparation. Grandmaster is a title… and on April 28th it’s up for grabs.