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





Saturday:

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!

Sunday:

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 :)

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