Thursday, August 6, 2015

Junior Road Nationals 2015

Hello!!

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!

<3
Maggie 

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