Monday, August 25, 2014

Superweek 2014 Part 1

Here's Superweek Part 1! Better late than never!

Sooo... last year, Superweek was all about trying to finish a crit (which I didn't quite accomplish). Going into this years week of racing, I did not really know what to expect. I knew that I had definitely improved from last year, as I had finished 6th place in both of the high speed, cat. 1/2/3 Bastion Square Grand Prix and Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race crits. Yet, with all the big, powerful teams like Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies coming to race, I knew I was in for a sufferfest.

The first race I did was the MK Delta criterium. I had done continuous visualization before and during Superweek so I went in feeling fit and strong, both mentally and physically. I made sure I had great position at the start, and the race was off!! Every lap, there would be either accelerations or attacks on the hill, but no one was able to stay away. I took great corners and the whole time, I kept thinking, move up, move up! There were some attacks that went and I was able to get away with them! It was so exciting.. but we got caught. With ten laps to go, I knew I was going to finish my first Superweek race and couldn't contain my delight! I ended up 20th place in the sprint out of about 60 racers.

MK Delta Crit
Photo By: Pete Whalen
The next day, I went into the Brenco criterium with a little more confidence. I knew I had no excuse now but to finish! Really exciting detail of the evening, was that I got interviewed by Delta TV before my race!! The race went well, with me in the front at the start and working my hardest to follow wheels and move up during the race. Coming into the final corner, I had decent position going into the sprint (that's one thing I needed to work on, was positioning on the last 3 laps) and luckily took my corner tighter than usual, because there was a big crash! I just managed to weave around the riders and sprint for 9th place!

Brenco Crit
Photo By: Pete Whalen

I couldn't race the Delta Road Race, as I am too young to race a UCI event.

But, unlike the other riders, I got to race out at the Mission Raceway on Monday for the Youth Criterium Provincials. It was fun and very aggressive being able to race against other youth around my age, both boys and girls!

Next up was the UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony and Sons. This was the first race which I did last year and only lasted 15 minutes in. I started this year with the goal to finish it, of course, and make the break that I was fairly sure would go.

I was the BC Premier  Road Series Youth Winner!
UBC Grand Prix

I started out with good, thought out positioning and clipped in right away (yay!- I had been practicing :) I maintained good positioning in the main field despite the 180 degree turn with a standing-start-like sprint out of it every time around!! I missed the break though, and fought so hard to stay in the main pack where I was finally dropped and pulled with 5 laps to go. But I lasted longer than last year and still rode a good race.

Continue to Superweek 2014 Part 2....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Northwest Juniors Classic Stage Race 2014

So, back to Elma for the Northwest Juniors Classic Stage Race!! A totally professionally run (not to mention, epic) stage race in Washington! On top of great racing, I mean, how often do you really get to race around an abandoned nuclear power plant?!

The weekend started off with us arriving at the Elma RV Park resort and after a day in Olympia, we met up with team mate Clara Mackenzie to ride the time trial course (the actual course- last year we pre-rode something completely different ;-) Saturday morning we got up and rode to the tt course. After lots of talking with my dad (coach) and visualisation, I knew exactly how I was going to ride the perfect time trial! A great warm up with a good playlist consisting of Eminem and Nicki Minaj and I was off! A perfect track-like start and very well executed time trial and I finished 2nd place behind Hannah Green (BYRDS) and beat my last years time by 3 min 56 seconds!

I went into the crit with a goal to make it super aggressive and make up the 12 seconds that Hannah had on me!! I also had a plan to attack and lap the field. The race started with a high-paced, Superweek like start and attacks from my teammate and I, as well as others. I won two sprints for primes which fuelled my engine even more! I kept attacking until I finally got away. I was able to push myself hard and enjoy the pain, so that I almost lapped the field and won by 1 min 36 seconds. The whole time I was pushing myself to catch the pack, I kept visualising Steph Roorda and when she lapped the field at the UBC Grand Prix! Trying (and failing) my hand at a victory salute, I came across the finish line absolutely ecstatic!!

Crit... before I attacked :-)
 Photo by: Northwest Classic Juniors Stage Race

I did not think that it was even possible to get hotter. But, yes, the next day was so crazy hot for the road race, it was hard to even move! The pace was set high early on, for our race, and with some constant attacks and counter attacks, the field split the first time up the 3 mile climb. The race had a very intense component with a staring contest between Hannah and I, waiting for the other to make a move! Eventually, we came to the last lap and it ended with an uphill sprint for 1st, where I won the sprint for the 15/16 women and Clara won the 17/18 women. All in all, a great weekend for Local Ride with Clara and I winning the GC in our respective categories and teammate, Jackson Pickell winning the 17/18 male!! Congrats to the both of you! I'll miss you at these junior races, as you will both be senior next year! Fun times!

Crazy me spraying the Sparkling Apple Cider
Photo by: Northwest Classic Juniors Stage Race

It was awesome hanging out with and meeting all these dedicated, competitive youth! Can't wait until next year!!

Thanks Erik Anderson, Jim Brown and all the sponsors, volunteers and commissaires who made this race awesome!

Also, thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Cycles Lambert, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max and Cycling BC for the continuous support!

Clara Mackenzie, Jackson Pickell and me!!  Yay Local Ride!
:) Maggie