Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cyclocross Nationals 2015!

Hello again!

Just got back from Winnipeg and have yet to unpack (ooops). Threw myself right back into reality as the morning we flew in (we woke up 4 am Winnipeg time) we were early enough for me to make it to second block at my high school... yay. Besides that, I had an AMAZING  time in Winnipeg at Cyclocross Nationals!

Pre-race focus.... die cucumber ;D

Warm up swag under the not-so-warm sun

  We flew in on the Thursday morning, and since the racing didn't start until Saturday, my dad and I hit the gym at our hotel. Did some plyos and a bit of a jog- nothing too strenuous but just enough to make me feel good and keep the body moving! Friday, we woke up and had apparently brought the BC weather with us because it was POURING! All I could think about was the leftover mud for the next day, as we were not yet educated on Winnipegs fast drying, tacky river mud/clay! I rode the course, figured out some lines through the 3 sandpits and got to fly over the flyovers! After a delicious pizza dinner that we got lucky and were found a table despite the waitlist, we went down to the course to check out the night race and watch some fire dancers, which was super cool!

All smiles at the start :)

The next day, I got to sleep in since I didn't race until 3, then watched some pre race Say Yes to the Dress before heading down to check out the action. It was cool lining up with 10 strong u23 women for the Championship and I really hope that that category continues to grow! My goal going into the race was top 3 at the line, which punches my ticket to go to Worlds in January in Belgium! And guess what... I did it! The race got pretty spread out, with Ruby West having an awesome race and taking the win, then Dana Gilligan in second and me in third.  The reality that I will get to be part of the first u23/Junior Women's Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium (!) still hasn't really set in but I am sooo excited! Before the race, my dad instructed me that since he was going to turn 50 in January, he wanted his present to be to be able to go to Belgium and watch me race Worlds! Just over 2 months to go... time to start my prep!

Ooops.. (to the people behind me) 

L to R: Dana Gilligan, Ruby West, me. 3rd means Worlds!

My dad and I celebrated the success with virgin Margarita's and a steak dinner, and later, some Castle episodes (for me ;).

The following day, we woke up, I tried to do some homework while watching Bourne Identity, then we walked down to the race. Today, the elites and u23/juniors were all combined so there were almost 25 women in my race. I had a bad start position no thanks to the call ups, but followed some good wheels and was able to battle it out with three others over the 40 min. At the end, I pulled through and got 8th place! Top 10 was my goal, as it gave me some UCI points, and I achieved it! Which was especially great, considering how strong the field was (Mical Dyck, Sandra Walter, Maghalie Rochette etc.!). All in all, a great weekend with some exciting successes!

L to R: Ruby West, Sandra Walter, me, Mical Dyck, Meredith Miller
Post Elite Women's race

As always, I'd like to thank my sponsors Local Ride Racing, Colnago Canada, CODE Sports, Catlike Helmets, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert, Epoch Analytical, Epoch Environmental Consulting, Pacific Sport, Cycling BC and Jubilee Cycle for the continuous support!

Maggie :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Track Nationals 2015!

Hello all!

I am writing this blog as I am on the plane to Winnipeg for cross Nationals! It has been a busy month for me! Track Nationals took place a month ago in Milton, Ontario on the new Mattamy Velodrome, built for the Pan Am games. People had told me that the track was nice and fast to ride on, but it was even more amazing than I imagined! Riding the track was like riding on velvet, and the facility was absolutely gorgeous! They always had the heat pumping, turning the building into a sauna which made for some fast conditions.

Pre bunch race smiles :D

My dad (aka coach) and I flew in on Wednesday night, and did a midnight shopping spree, powered by jetlag. Thursday, we got to the track to watch the elites race and get some Team Pursuit practice in. Racing for the u17/juniors kicked off on Friday with the team events. First up was the Team Sprint, which I signed up for last minute with Margaret Ovenell (Devo). We had never done it together before, and even though we didn't make the finals we had fun trying! The u17 BC composite Team Pursuit team consisted of Erin Attwell (Tripleshot), Sarah Van Dam (Tripleshot), Margaret, and I. We rode a smooth fairly consistent 12 laps (3 km) and ended up second, 4 seconds behind Team Ontario, which meant we had made the finals. After carefully choosing who would lead and how many laps we would each do, we went into the finals even more prepared, and closed that 4 second gap to finish second, but only less than 1 second behind Team Ontario! I am really proud of our team and how we pulled it together and almost closed that gap! You girls rock :) <3

Margaret and I properly recovering between races!

Saturday brought with it another 12 consecutive hours inside the velodrome. I swear that by the end of the weekend we were all going a little crazy from lack of fresh air and sun deprivation (haha). My dad and I were so on it that we slept passed our alarm every single day that we were there, so it was always a mad dash to get to the track for warm up (good thing it was only a 3 minute drive ;). The first morning of the omnium, opened with the scratch race. As per usual, I attacked and bridged and raced as aggressively as I could without killing myself. It was so cool to race with 18 other strong u17 women! By the final lap however, I had boxed myself in and just managed to squeeze out for a second place finish behind Ruby West (Kallisto). Following that, we had the sprint tournament qualifications- a flying 200m. The line was quite different for a 200m on that track compared to Burnaby, so my warm ups were spent riding the line over and over and videoing the elites the day before. That studying obviously paid off because I laid down the top u17 female time and a PB- 12.75 seconds, which gave me a by for the quarter finals= salad time!

Warm up concentration :)

The afternoon session was probably the highlight of my Nationals experience. The Individual Pursuit. The most painful 2km (8 laps) you could imagine. Mastering the IP is an art, from figuring out your lap times to the pacing, to the line you ride and your standing start at the beginning. And I apparently executed it almost perfectly. I won the National title in that event and put down a PB by 6 seconds and almost a qualification time for Worlds- 2:34 seconds (Qualification for Worlds= 2:32). And that was ridden without disk wheels and with a gear restriction! I am very excited to see what kind of time I will be able to put down at trials in April! That left Ruby and I tied for the omnium lead. Last race of the night was the elimination race. My strategy going into it was the classic sit at the front for the whole race and not let anyone come over top or box you in. However, on lap two when the realization set in that I would have to be at the front for 38 laps (elimination every 2nd lap) I laughed to myself and thought "what the heck am I thinking?!?" Regardless, I pulled through and did it and was able to play cat-and-mouse on the last 2 laps to win it.

L to R- Erin Atwell, me, Ruby West
u17 Individual Pursuit podium

Leading out the elimination!

Already the last day of track Nats :( We slept passed our alarm again, but got there just in time for the sprint tournament. I love the sprint tournament because it gives you 3 laps to execute your plan (you always have a plan going into it) and play with your opponent. Thanks to these two things, I won each of my sprints and ended up defending my National Sprint champ title that I also won last year! :) 3 races to go! Perfecting a race diet is difficult, especially with me and my extremely finicky and sensitive stomach since my appendix burst, so I went into the 500 time trial a little food deprived. But despite that, I didn't execute the best standing start and Erin Attwell beat me by 3/10th's of a second! In a race that short, one little mishap can drop your time drastically, so skill and knowledge about how to ride it are very important.

Massage time! :)

2 to go! The flying 250m. I love these because you give it everything you've got for one lap and hope it pays off. Then perfecting your line as you near the start line is equally as crucial. The people sitting in the stands must of thought I was crazy, because as I was picking up speed at the rail I was talking to myself, telling myself to "Go faster, go faster!" entering the flying lap. Another proud moment! I was the only u17 girl to crack 16 (15.7) seconds in the flying lap and wasn't too far off some of the u17 boys times! The last race was a very sad and exciting moment for us second year u17's. This would be, for most of us, our last race as a u17, but excitingly, that meant disks and unlimited (well, almost) gears for the future. Oh, and World Championships! I executed some awesome sprints and took all the first place points in the Points race, tried to take a lap but was bogged down by the gear and reeled in by the powerhouse of girls behind me.

An amazing, 10/10 experience, with 3 golds (Individual Pursuit, Sprints and Omnium) and 2 silvers (Team Pursuit and Time Trial) and of course the funnest (yes, it's a word ;p) times with the best people! Now time to decimate at Cross Nationals! If I get top 3 on Saturday, I qualify for Worlds in January (Belgium). No pressure, right?

As always, I'd like to thank my sponsors Local Ride Racing, Colnago Canada, CODE Sports, Catlike Helmets, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert, Epoch Analytical, Epoch Environmental Consulting, Pacific Sport, Cycling BC and Jubilee Cycle for the continuous support!

<3 Maggie 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Superweek 2015 :)

Superweek 2015-

So we flew home from Quebec Thursday evening and BC Superweek started Friday with the MK Delta criterium. With the races starting in the evenings, it gave us the morning to build up my bike and go for a shake down spin, pre-race. This was another learning experience for me- don’t eat certain things for lunch/dinner within three hours of a Superweek crit! I had a great start and hung at the front for the first bit of the race, then totally cramped up, got dropped and pulled with three laps to go. It wasn't how I was quite hoping to kick off Superweek, but I had 6 more races to prove myself!

Pre-race Interview :D 

The next night, I planned out my meals better, and was already over jetlag and feeling great! This race was the Brenco Delta crit and there were 60-70 female riders. Once again I had a great start, and tried to maintain a top 15 position during the race. Eventually, the crowd prime came around and I thought what the heck, I’ll go for it! I didn't get it, but three up sprinting with Lex Albrecht (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Shelley Olds (Ale Cipollini) was pretty sweet! I didn't plan out my finish very well and ended up 16th. I couldn't race the UCI road race the next day, as I am too young, and still have to wait two years until I can upgrade to race it… age limits like that are so annoying! I mean, you still have to be fast enough and capable enough to race a race like that, and if you’re young and fast you should be given the chance!

Smile? Check! = Race ready!

 So the third race for me was the UBC Grand Prix on Tuesday. There were even more riders, and it took place on a different course, which was tight and twisty and a bit sketchy. There was a big descent on one side and a narrow climb on the finishing straight. I had never finished the UBC crit before, especially when it was on the old course with the 360 U-turn. So I had to finish this year, and I did! I maintained my position at the front and even went with a break that almost stayed away! I one-uped my placing from Delta, and got 15th place. During the men’s race I got to ride in the lead car (the Tesla!) and it was so exciting!

Gastown time! The next night was the famous Global- Relay Gastown Grand Prix, the race who has been won by even Lance Armstrong back in the day (no surprise there ;). There were over 80 pro women for this race. It was even fun pre race and post race because there is such an exciting atmosphere filled with media reporters and curious non-racers. It was great, because usually it’s just me at a tent warming up by myself, but for Gastown and some of the other races we had a group of other women who were all riding independently and needed a home base! This year, there was a kids race and my 12 year old sister got to experience the thrill of riding this incredible race! It was finally our start time, I got a call up, then the race was under way. I had so much family and friends there cheering and the support was awesome! I maintained great position and kept up with the high speeds on the descent and finishing climb. I had to put my foot down once to avoid a crash, but stayed upright, even on the rickety, sketchy cobblestones! I planned out my finish perfectly, and moved up with 3 to go, so I was sitting top 5 going into one lap to go. I got pushed back to behind 10th place, due to having to slow for almost another crash on the 3rd to last corner. I was able to make enough time up in the sprint and got 13th place! Afterwards, to pick up the prize money, we had to go up to a super fancy office and had a buffet and sat in the VIP lounge while we waited!

Love these guys!! Some of the best supporters/friends I could ask for!

Day 5 of racing was the Giro Di Burnaby, with the 360 degree turn after the start/finish along Hasting’s street. Now my position wasn't so great for the first half of this race, but I didn't feel the threat of getting dropped. With around 10 laps to go, I decided enough was enough and moved back up to the top 10. I sprinted for a $200 prime, but didn't have quite enough speed to come around the leader. With 2 to go, just like last year, they rang the bell for the crowd prime, and I had such great positioning going into that last straight, that I won it…  for the second year in a row! I was so cracked after that, that on the last lap I finished off around 25th place.

The second to last race was the Whiterock crit, one of the hardest crits in my opinion. I had yet to finish this crit either, and it being my 3rd year racing it, I not only wanted to finish, but I felt that it was time for a top 10. Over 30 women were dropped in this high pace race, and there were attack after attack within the first 10 laps, always on the demanding climb. With 5 to go, I found myself among the 19 women left, and knew that a top 10 was attainable! With my good finishing position, I got 6th place. I was super happy with that! I was rewarded with a relaxing message to get me ready for the final race- the hilly Whiterock road race.

So the next day came along, and by this point, everyone's feeling the week. This was a hilly 80 km race with close to some 15% grades. I managed to stay in with the leaders by chasing back on after the climbs, but the pace was so up and down, that it was super taxing. Still, I stayed on, should have drank more and crashed with ½ lap to go. I just tapped a wheel in front of me and supermaned off my bike. I had very little road rash, and wanted to finish the race, but my shifter was broken. This was the first race ever that I didn't finish.


So Superweek was a fun week and a great learning experience! The day after it ended, I flew off to California for a week off the bike, and then it was off to Elma for the Northwest Junior Stage Race!

I'd like to thank my sponsors Local Ride Racing, Colnago Canada, CODE Sports, Catlike Helmets, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert, Epoch Analytical, Epoch Environmental Consulting, Pacific Sport, Cycling BC and Jubilee Cycle for the continuous support!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Junior Road Nationals 2015


Ok Junior Road Nationals was so full of learning experiences, it’s insane! This was the Junior National Road Championships in Thetford Mines, Quebec. My whole family travelled to Quebec 1 week before the race, to make a vacation out of it. We flew into Montreal and were picked up by the 31ft RV we were renting for the two weeks in Quebec. Upsettingly, when our bikes came through security, we found one of the boxes completely ripped and open! We're still unsure what might have fallen out (obviously nothing of total importance). The lack of respect from the airlines on our bikes was quite shocking and extremely disrespectful. Those are expensive bikes in those boxes, like seriously!

So, despite being jetlagged, we drove two-ish hours to Trois Rivieres to hang with my sisters exchange partner, then to a trailer park just outside of Quebec City. My dad and I built up the bikes and found a ride, then we went in to Quebec City for a couple of days. I absolutely fell in love with old Quebec- sooo gorgeous! Its perfect, too, that me and my sisters are all in French immersion.

Quebec adventures! Rode to a beautiful waterfall, then climbed the stairs to the top, with my sis on my back! :D

We finally got to Thetford Mines, settled again into our trailer park (which pretty much involved parking and unloading the bikes) then my dad and I went for a pre-ride on the TT course. We were descending, about 1/5th of the way into the course, when these two dogs ran out in front of me. I, having already hit a dog earlier in the season, wasn't planning on hitting two more, and hit my brakes. My dad didn't quite get the message, and after hearing a frightened yell rode full on into the back of me and we both went flying. I was quick to bounce up, but he lay there for a while, while I freaked out that he would never be able to stand again. Our bikes lay in a tangled heap, and after further inspection, we found his shifter broken (this wouldn't have been the first time I have been responsible for a broken shifter on his bikes…ooops) and 4 broken spokes on my carbon Shimano C-50 front wheel. The dogs stood there barking at us, and a nice local picked us up and drove us back to the camp-site (my TT bike almost fell off his bike rack). We replaced my front wheel with my Giant carbon one, put some ice on our wounds and were back in business.

Adventure #2: I pre-rode the course again, the next day saying “Screw you, dogs” as I rode by, then went to sign in and for bike check. Uh oh. Bikes too long. Ok, so we just chop off the bars, right? Ya well, we did that, then found out that the holes for the cables to come out of were two small and the bars didn't fit back together. So, painstakingly we had to cut those down too. Then, it wouldn't shift. My parents worked on that, and, as it was almost midnight, I went to bed.

Second pre-ride (in the rain)

Race day! I'm feeling good, bikes all legal- and it absolutely will not shift into my big ring, no matter what we do. It was one hour before my race, and (thank goodness!) the mechanic at the race was able to fix it! Warmed up, ready, set, go- and my rear wheel pulls on my standing start. I was independent and didn't have a follow car. I also had never had a mechanical before, and didn't know how to react. I ended up pushing through the TT, with a rubbing wheel, being passed by three girls, and coming third to last. Later I learned that I probably should have stopped and fixed it, but at the time, I was in race mode and unsure of what I should have done. Live and you learn.

Saturday was the road race, and there were 26 junior women (I had upgraded as I am actually a second year cadet). It was an aggressive race with teams working team tactics and me being the wild card (independent). Some attacks almost stayed away, and there were some crashes on the last descent, but it came down to a sprint finish. Last lap of the 20 km course I had really started cramping up and could barely straighten my legs. It was a learning experience for me, as I needed to drink more leading into the race and during it. I ended up 6th in the sprint.

I pretty much always have a smile on my face!

The last race was the crit on Sunday. This was my chance to prove myself and show them that even though I’d had a tough week leading up to this, I was still one of the strongest juniors. It was an eventful aggressive race with the group consistently strung out following attacks, none of which stayed away. I got into a few breaks, but they would get chased down every time. Once again, it came down to a sprint finish, and I was third wheel coming out of the last corner and took second! It was a great way to top of the week, and a great way to lead into Superweek, which started the day after we flew back (we spent a few more days in Quebec after the race).

National Crit Champ podium
The California Crew :D

I'd like to thank my sponsors Local Ride Racing, Colnago Canada, CODE Sports, Catlike Helmets, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert, Epoch Analytical, Epoch Environmental Consulting, Pacific Sport, Cycling BC and Jubilee Cycle for the continuous support!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

May- June 2015 :)

Hellooo! Here's a summary of the first part of my season :D

So my season started out with an adventure down to Enumclaw, Washington for the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage race. There were about 30 cat. 1/2/3 women in our field, which made the racing fast and exciting!

First up was the time trial, Mercx style. It was a beautiful 10 km TT out on the windy roads in the farmland part of Enumclaw. I finished 15th in the TT, just over a minute down from the leader, but felt strong and that overall, I had a good TT. We followed the TT with a pancake brunch at our traditional breakfast place. 7 hours to chill, then warm up time for the infamous, fast, 8 corner criterium. I have been incorporating some gym workouts into my warm up, off the bike, and it has so far really helped me warm up everything from my arms to my core, and also, my balance and focus, instead of just my legs. During the crit, I watched for moves, and stayed in the top 10 for the majority of the race, and also won the sprints for 3 x 3 second time bonus primes. It came down to a bunch sprint for the win. I ended up 2nd to Sara Bergen (Trek Red Truck) in an almost photo finish!

Confidance boosted, I went into the road race the next morning with the determination to get away and make up the time needed for me to slide into top 5, or on the podium in the GC. The flats brought with them lots of cat and mouse games, with some attacks, that used the hill to try and stay away. The over 5 km climb on the hill brought with it a hammerfest, and the group splitting each lap. I managed to stay with the lead group until the last lap, where I almost got dropped. Yet, I was with 2 other girls and we chased hard and jumped on the back of the pack before the long decent. Once again, it came down to a pack sprint and this time I got third in cat.1/2 women (on junior gears ;p)! All in all, I was super happy with how the week went, even though my time bonuses were only enough to move me up to 9th in the GC.

Crit Podium :D

The following weekend was Youth Provincial Road Champs in Penticton! The weather was super hot and nice, and the courses were some of my favourite courses that I have almost ever ridden! It was a 21 km time trial out through the rolling streets in the farmland. My dad/coach, sister and I obviously had to do a pre-race ride the night before, so I could check out all of the pretty animals beforehand, so they didn't distract me during the TT! ;)

I had a great time trial! We had dialled in my fit on my Colnago K-Zero TT bike, and it felt super comfortable during the race. I ended up 2nd place, 8 seconds down from Gillian Ellsay. I personally felt that I had a great TT! The crit that night was cool as well, with 6 corners, and  it being a fast, solid course. We had a 35 minute race, with various attacks that almost stayed away. Again, it came down to a pack sprint, which I took.

Kia Van der Vliet, me, Emily Handford and Holly Simonsin post crit
One of my fave pics! :)

That night, we had a banquet for the awards presentations and some talks. I was one of the speakers, along with John Wilcox, and I tell you, it’s not always easy describing your racing career on the spot, totally unprepared. But we did it! I am super happy I got a chance to give that talk in front of 100+ riders and parents and coaches, because practice makes perfect, and you may be fast on the bike, but proper speaking skills are so important to have to make it as a pro cyclist!

Last day in Penticton, brought sun again, but also storm clouds, and luckily the thunder didn't start until after our races. The road course was super tough, with a big steep climb, then some rolling flats with a head wind along the top part, then a crazy steep descent with sweeping, sketchy corners. The last part was a short stretch along the highway, with a 100 m 15% grade climb up to the finishing straight.

The road race dwindled down with attacks on the hill, until there were only 3 of us lefy for the last half lap. We had a match sprint type finish going up the last steep hill, then my attack was enough to hold them off and get the win!

Junior Provincial Champ Podium
Then there were Elite Provincials. The time trial happened to be my third race on my tt bike, and I had a great tt on the flat, windy 30 + km course. I came 6th. The next day was the road race. It was an 18km hilly, flat course (it had a bit of everything). I missed the first attack that went on the hill, along with the second one that bridged. Our race was 90+ km, and after a bit of negative racing because there were all these individuals then a few teams, it came down to a sprint finish for 4th. I attacked a little early and got 6th in that race as well.

The last day was the crit downtown in my hometown of Maple Ridge. Provincials this year was Race the Ridge and therefore run by my dad. So, before my race I did my part in volunteering (which was perfect, because I need the volunteer hours for school, anyways). Then my goal was just to make the elite women’s provincial crit champs as hard as I could and as aggressive as I could. I attacked, and got the primes, and countered and just raced as hard as I possibly could. I missed the one attack that stayed away, but she had help from a team and it becomes difficult sometimes, when you’re an individual against a team. I planned my final sprint perfectly, though, and won the bunch sprint, getting second overall in the crit.

BC Crit Champs podium

Next up was the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Classic race. The Friday night started with a scratch race and sprints at a speedway. It was a neat way to start the weekend, although I also really liked it when they ran the TT along the ocean. This speedway was like the Velodrome, just without the banking, and I used my track skills and won all the primes in the cat. 1/2/3 women’s scratch race plus the race, and the match sprints that followed. Oh! It was also my first chance to debut my new Local Ride Racing CODE kit!

The next day was the hilly, all up or down, road race. Some attacks almost stayed away on the big steep hill, but the main field was aggressively chasing back on, so it came down to a bunch sprint uphill finish. I chose some good wheels and was able to sneak around and win the Cheemos Perogies Classic road race for the first time!

Road Race Podium

Last day was the criterium, and this year, it took place around the BC Legislative buildings, right downtown Victoria on the water. There was a climb on the straight after the finish, then a flat, then a descent with a sharp right hand turn into the finishing straight. There were more riders for this race, and Trek Red Truck had a full squad, as well as Mical Dyck was there (the announcer kept mixing us up because of our pink and green kits!). Early on, there was an attack by Kinley Gibson and she managed to stay away, despite our attempts at getting a chase group together. I pushed into great positioning on the last corner and was able to pull ahead and, once again, win the bunch sprint and get second overall. It was a great weekend of hard, addictive racing, and I can’t wait until next year! Goodness, race weekends are so fun and addictive! :)

Crit Podium!

I'd like to thank my sponsors Local Ride Racing, Colnago Canada, CODE Sports, Catlike Helmets, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert, Epoch Analytical, Epoch Environmental Consulting, Pacific Sport, Cycling BC and Jubilee Cycle for the continuous support!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

California National Team Training Camp 2015

Hey all!!

So I am writing this as I am sitting in the airport waiting to catch my flight back to Vancouver. What perfect timing to, as it just started raining here in LA! (So it was actually written in the airport, even though I am posting it much later ;)

I have been in LA for almost exactly 2 weeks at a Canadian elite/junior National Team training camp. It has been an epic 2 weeks with around 35 hours of riding! The camp took place in the county of Oxnard, around two hours north of LA. The place where we stayed was a total beach house! It was this quaint little blue "surf shack" 1 block from the beach with the perfect number of beds for us 4 juniors (Liah Harvey, Katherine Maine, Catherine Ouellette and I) and womens National team road coach, Denise Kelly. It was so nice to get to know Denise and the other juniors, whom I hadn't met before!

The riding was great! You could drive 20 minutes out to the canyons and do 4 hours just on the back roads, or ride from our house for 5 hours. It was really nice, as we always had a follow vehicle and therefore had easy access to more water and food which gave us a lot more freedom as to where we could ride and for how long.

Photo credits: Denise Kelly

Some days we rode with the 8 other elite women, which was fun socially and added an extra challenge into our riding, while on the other days, the four of us would push through our 3.5 to 5 hour ride, sometimes in 32+ degree Celsius weather, with Denise encouraging us and getting us to keep our ride "peppy" from behind in the van. Some of the 45 minute+ climbs are the longest climbs that I have ever done, and it was great to be able to climb those hills day after day and see how each day I would get stronger. Despite the legs being tired after a long 10 days, I finished the camp in great shape and feeling awesome and strong! I also came out of it more flexible than I was before, thanks to all of the morning yoga and stretching on the beach! I gained more bike handling knowledge as well as worked on technique on the bike, both personally and group training.

Photo credits: Denise Kelly

The camp was also a great chance to break in my new Colnago AC-R road bike, which handled amazingly around corners and was supper responsive to my movements! It was nice and light up the hills and not to mention the neon green looked so fluorescent and flashy in pictures!

I also wore my new Mixino Catlike helmet, which was sleek and light and one of the most comfortable helmets I have ever worn! Some of the other helmets I have had in the past would put pressure on my head and give me headaches in the heat, but Catlike helmets have kept me comfortable and headache free!

Having my new Power2Max power metre was awesome as a lot of our training was based around our power and heart rate and cadence, as well as we had to send in our power files daily to coach Denise Kelly!

Last but definitely not least, I got to try out a new bike kit from CODE sports, which was some of the most comfortable kit I have ever ridden in! The shorts and chamois were awesome and the jersey was light enough so I didn't overheat, and it was tight fitting and stylish. The pockets were the perfect size and super easy to get into, which was especially important as I had to carry enough food to last me sometimes 5 hours, and I needed to have easy access to it while climbing and riding in packs.

All in all it was an amazing two weeks filled with tons of riding, lots of laughter and great people!

Photo credits: Denise Kelly

Thank you so much Denise Kelly, Craig Griffin and Dan Peters for everything over these past two weeks!

I'd like to thank my new and returning sponsors Local Ride Racing, Colnago Canada, CODE Sports, Catlike Helmets, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert, Epoch Analytical, Pacific Sport and Cycling BC for the continuous support! I look forward to an awesome race season ahead!

:) Maggie

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Series- Wix Brown Road Race

Hey!! Long time no blog ;p

So I got to race my new Colnago for the first time this past Sunday! I couldn't race Spring Series Saturday as I was at the Vancouver bike show and had the pleasure of meeting Colnago Canada Manager, Juli Dutil as well as Colnago's signature Ferrari! I also got to model some skin suits for CODE Sports!

Colnago's Juli Dutil, me and the Ferrari! 

Modelling CODE skin suits!

 Later on, I hit a dog that bolted out at me on my training ride and crashed, skinning my poor pinky :(. Sunday finally came around and brought with it my first race of the season!

The race went well, with me for most of it, staying in the top half of the pack. There was a really big B field with a half dozen women, and having them there just gave me more motivation to hang in the race. Although, with less than 1 lap to go, I got gaped on a corner and couldn't get back into the race. All in all, I found my first race and first B race to be pretty good and my new Colnago bike to be AWESOME!! It handled very well in the corners and was super responsive when I went to sprint, not to mention how sweet it looked with its high-vis highlights!!

First race on my new Colnago!
Photo credits to Richard Wooles 

Later that day, it was also great to be able to download and view my data on my new Power2Max!!

I'd like to thank my new and returning sponsors Local Ride Racing, Colnago Canada, CODE Sports, Catlike Helmets, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert, Pacific Sport and Cycling BC for the continuous support! I look forward to an awesome race season ahead!

Until next week,

Maggie :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

U17/Junior National Track Champs 2014

Hey there!

Nationals blog finally post-ready!!

So Nationals....

The whole week started on Wednesday with Team BC training on the track and getting our first glimpse of the other Provincial Teams coming in! Training again Thursday, then Friday, the team events started! First up was Rachel Carrey and I for the Team Sprint, and despite a start malfunction, we still got the fastest time in the qualifiers! Rachel and I had been working on our Team Sprint and knew pretty well how one another rode. She was the starter and I finished.

Rachel Carrey (right) and I racing the Team Sprint.
Photo Credit to: Scott Robarts

Up next was the Team Pursuit, where Holly Simonsin, Jess Reynolds and I communicated well and rode a fairly smooth race, getting the 3rd fastest time in the qualifiers and moving onto the finals for bronze later on that evening.

The evening session started out with the Team Sprint, and Rachel and I confidently and nervously warming up for the sprint finals, everything on the line. We had an awesome start this time, and after giving absolutely everything I had on the second (last) lap, we won the National Team Sprint Championships!

"And the National Team Sprint Champs are Rachel Carrey and Maggie Coles-Lyster!"
Photo credit to:Pete Whalen

Later on, was the finals for the Team Pursuit where we rode an even smoother race and ended up with a bronze medal! 

3rd in the Team Pursuit!
Photo credit to: Pete Whalen


We started the morning off with a Flying 200m as the qualifiers for the Sprint Tournament. Saturday also, as it was the first day of the Omnium, gave me my first glimpse of the 18 u17 girls in my category! That was the most u17 girls that I had ever raced and couldn't wait to start the bunch races! Anyway, in my Flying 200, I applied all the skills that sprint/track coach Matt Chater had helped me out with the weeks leading into Nationals, and boy did they pay off! I got the fastest qualifiers time and cracked 13 sec, something I hadn't even came close to before! Next up, we started off with the first omnium event- the Scratch race! It was a super aggressive race, with girls attacking from every which way. I attacked with two laps to go and was able to hold off my opponents and win at the line.

Photo By: Pete Whalen

Another omnium event was up next. The super important, incredibly deadly individual pursuit!! After a complete warm up, I made my way up to the start gates and executed a very good standing start (something I had been working hard on for the weeks leading up to it). I ended up getting silver in that race by 0.2 seconds.. sooo close!! (It was a National Championship event.)

Individual Pursuit
Photo By: Pete Whalen

That night was the Sprint tournament, which took a lot of mental strength as a big part of the race was how well you could out think your opponent. Because I had won the Flying 200, I was up against the slowest qualified time. I won that match but left my sprint down to the last lap, so it was close at the line. I then played with different strategies, such as keeping my opponents low on the track and forcing them to go up around me, and won all of my gold medal matches! I won the National u17 Sprint Championships and the exhilaration I felt was incredible! I couldn't have been prouder! :)

In the elimination, I executed an awesome race by sitting in the second position, in the draft and then pushing others up when they tried to come around me. An attack was launched with about 5 riders left, and I gave it all I could to chase her down, and had just enough of an adrenaline rush (despite racing all day) to pass her at the line!


One more day to go!! I woke up, dragged myself out of bed and made it to the track in time to warm up and race. That day, became National Champion in the 500 meter Time Trial, got my second best time in my Flying 200 (13.1 sec) and won all of the sprints in the Points Race with some unsuccessful attempts to attack and take a lap on the field (it was a very aggressive Points Race). Sadly, it ended with a big crash with 4 laps to go, where I just managed to stay up right by going down to the cote. They finally called us down and ended the race there.

I was very proud to have won 4 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze at Nationals and can't wait to go back to the new track in Milton, Ontario and race again next year.

Photo By: Scott Robarts

Thanks to Kelyn Akuna and the Burnaby Velodrome, Cycling Canada, Cycling BC and all of the commissaires, officials, volunteers and sponsors who made it happen!

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

Maggie :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Burnaby 4 Day 2014

Hey all!!

So this past weekend I raced at the Burnaby 4 Day track race at the Burnaby Velodrome. It was a 4 day event (hence the name ;) and I raced 3 Elite Women races per evening. The races we raced were some of the longest track races that I had ever done, with races such as the 75 lap scratch race and the 80 lap points race!! They were long and faaaast. There were 17 elite women, which is awesome considering the low numbers in the past! There were also some very top riders in that category, such as Jasmin Glaesser, Steph Roorda, Carri Higgins and Joanne Kiesanowski.

Jasmin Glaesser, me, Steph Roorda
Picture By: Pete Whalen

Going into the week, I spent many nights visualizing the different races and visualizing myself on the podium in each one. I had an idea of what to expect for speed and skill aspects after having done BC Superweek two years in a row. Turns out that I was accurate with my predictions of how the racing would be, as there was very little sketch and really high speeds (60+ km/h at times!), and not to mention tons of cheering from the crowd, something I love! In the first scratch race, I dug hard and followed good wheels and ended up 5th on the line, which I was very happy with!

Gaining Confidence ;)
Photo By: Pete Whalen

From there on, my placings just kept getting better until I was consistently getting 5th and by the last day, some 4th's. I learnt so much about the lines on the track, when to attack, when to sprint, etc. from just racing with the more experienced women. My confidence also improved as the week went on with me becoming more aggressive. It took a lot of mental convincing to tell myself that I belonged in that category, racing with those top women and on the podium with them. I was also super proud when I ended up 3rd, and even 2nd in some sprints in the points race. Overall, I got 5th place and made the podium because it went 5 deep! I can't wait until next year and to race these girls again in the future!

Left to Right:
Carri Higgins, Steph Roorda, Jasmin Glaesser, Joanne Kiesanowski, Me
Photo By: Pete Whalen

Thanks to Kelyn Akuna, Malcolm Faulkner, the Burnaby Velodrome and all of the volunteers and officials who made this weekend awesome!!

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

Maggie :)