Banff, Canada - It was Lenovo's second appearance at the Banff Bike Fest in Banff, Canada. This is one of the highlight races for the team this year. Racing in the Banff National Park has to be one of the most scenic races you could do in North America. The Lenovo team was fired up for this year. Ian McKissick has been winning all the time trials this year and we knew we had a chance of winning the overall title this year. The team had to ride smart and race well together.

Stage 1 - Prologue
This short 3 min interval stage was the start to the Banff Bike Fest. A short 1.5km uphill time trial was going to decide who would be in the leaders jersey. The road was damp and a little slippery at the same time. The course went out for about 1km on a slight uphill rise and then turned left straight up a final steep pitch to the finish line. Usually this short TT is not the best for Ian McKissick, but he managed to place 2nd on the stage.

Stage 2 - 1A Sprint Road Race
The second stage was an out and back course from Lake Louise down to Banff and back on the 1A. We knew the break would most likely not succeed, but we just had to make sure we were always in the moves. In the final sprint Wes Richards was able to hang onto third place.

Stage 3 - Time Trial
This time trial must be one of the most scenic time trials we have ever ridden. The towering mountains as the backdrop to the time trial course. The course is diffinitely a hard course with a gradual climb up to the lake and then all downhill to the finish. As predicted Ian McKissick blazed the course and ended up winning comfortably and gaining some solid time over his rivals. The suprise was Mike Hone who managed to take 4th in the time trial. So after Stage 3, Ian McKissick and Mike Hone were 1st and 4th in the Overall GC.

Stage 4 - Criterium
Our goal was not to let the top GC riders to get up the road. The crit course was always a challenging course and we needed to ride at the front. For some reason the plan did not fully work out and two riders slipped away from the field and eventually lapped the field. We all managed to stay upright and McKissick stayed in the bunch for the field sprint. He did not lose any time to his rivals.

Stage 5 - Road Race
On the final stage, the Lenovo team had to defend the yellow jersey for one more day. We all wanted to make sure Ian would take the overall title. We knew it was going to be tough to manage and have the Canadian teams attack the Lenovo team throughout the race. We let a small group go up the road and maintain a solid 2 minute gap for most of the first half of the race. Mike Hone, Wes Richards and Patrick Stanko working hard at the front to keep control of the race. The lead group eventually split up and faded and with the last half of the race, teams began to attack us. Shawn Ongers and Ryan Iddings worked hard in the later part of the race helping protect the leaders jersey and to make sure that Ian would stay with the leaders. On the final climb, no one was able to get away and McKissick knew if he stayed with the leaders on the climb that he could hold onto the lead and take the Overall Title and he did.

It was a great result to the team and we were all thrilled to win in Banff. Hopefully we can defend the title in 2011.