19-year-old Noah Simms finished an impressive 13th at what was perhaps the fastest, most hotly contested Paris to Ancaster in its 26 year history.
P2A is arguably Canada’s most well-known and popular gravel/multi-surface race. The event starts in Paris, Ontario and follows farm paths, gravel, trails and an infamous mud chute 3km before the finish in Ancaster. With the rise in popularity of mass start gravel events, P2A attracted high-profile road and mtb racers from the Continental and professional ranks to the 2019 edition, including eventual winner Peter Disera (Norco Factory Racing). Disera closed the gap to Will Elliott (X-Speed) in the mud chute and passed him inside 200m to go on the final climb to the finish.
To give a sense of the mud chute, here’s a vid from 2018:
Simms was in the first chase group that got smeared across the road in the mud as riders eventually finished in ones and twos. His 13th place finish was impressive as he battles back from injury and spent the weeks leading up to P2A studying for exams. We’re hoping his fitness will continue to build into June as we head into Quebec for the GPC de Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce.
Simms attended P2A with Carson Miles who battled the terrain all day, chasing back onto the group Simms was in before being dropped for good in the mud chute. Both had a fantastic time and were hosted by Stephanie McAulay from the race organization whose point person was Tim Farrar. They also got to spend time with long-time sponsor Peter Appleton who, along with Krys Hines hosted a P2A party at the Grupetto Café in Dundas… where they gave us some Landis Coffee!
Good people, good mud and good coffee. I think we’ll be sending more riders to P2A in the future, and that will be true of many teams.