Junior Road National Championships 2016

5 weeks away from home, 3 different beds, 3 crashes, National and World class racing, 12 amazing teammates and probably most impressively, a bronze medal in the women’s omnium at Junior Track World Championships!

My amazing adventure started June 21st, with the last day of grade 11. The final bell rang and I raced out of there to go pack my bikes at home in preparation for my red-eye flight that night. I also was asked to go talk at a coaches and teachers conference, that afternoon, about my bike racing and how to inspire school kids to do sports and be competitive. I had planned out my day accordingly to make my transition onto Ontario’s time zone as smooth as possible- which included eating an early dinner, then sleeping right away on the plane. When we landed in the morning, I had a quick breakfast and my classic decaf mocha, then drove to Gatineau, Quebec to Philemon Wright Secondary School, where I was set to take Science Humaines 11 (social studies) provincial exam, because I was missing it back in BC, and could not take it at any other time! As soon as I had finished the 60 multiple guess questions and two essays, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders, and I was officially done grade 11!

Had so much fun with my TaG teammates <3

The next few days, I got to focus on pre-riding and getting to know the National road and time trial courses in Ontario and Quebec, and then race day came! The first race up was the 80km, flat road race in downtown Ottawa, practically around the Parliament buildings (sadly, I didn’t see Trudeau!). It was a hot one that day, and I had prepared by keeping myself well hydrated in the weeks leading into the race, and getting some extra electrolytes in me to help with cramping issues. Sadly, as many National Championship events seem to be, this Junior Women’s road race was quite a negative race, with team tactics at play and only me and a few others trying to animate the race. In the end, I missed the final break that went and ended up 8th in the finish. We had a few days between the road race and time trial to ride the TT course, swim in a lake and watch bad movies with the TaG squad.

Road Race

Sums us up so well.

It was a little cooler on the day of the time trial, and I felt like I had a good race, but sometimes feelings can be deceiving, and I ended up having the 7th fastest time. Those races are always hard to dissect afterwards, because you know you are a very strong rider and felt like you rode a good race, but can’t figure out where something went wrong! Maybe I wasn’t warmed up enough, maybe I zoned out, I am not sure, but I knew that I needed to redeem myself in the criterium the next day!

Now this crit course is one of my favourite crit courses that I’ve ever raced! It is in the shape of an L and the finish is on a decent climb. My plan going into the race was to attack off the gun and get out of site, out of mind. Apparently a few others had the same idea, because when I missed my pedal at the start, Simone Boilard and Erin Attwell went for it! Once I was clipped in, I sprinted up to them. In the end it turned into a two women break with me and Simone gaining almost 45 seconds on the pack. She’s a tough racer, and tried to jump me every time up the hill, but I wouldn’t let her go! The last lap was perfect for me, as it was very cat and mouse like between us two, just like a track race. The final sprint happened in the last 200 m and I jumped hard and got the win! That helped my confidence a bit, going into the next leg of my journey.

Simone Boilard, Me, Erin Attwell

...adventure to be continued in the next blog! (World Champs)


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