On another flight home from my third World Championship this year, and bored with homework so time for a little blogging :)! In January, I competed in the U23 Cyclocross World Champs in Zolder, Belgium, then I won a bronze medal at the Junior Track World Champs in Aigle, Switzerland in July, and I am now returning from competing in the Junior Road World Champs in Doha Qatar. It's been a busy year!
|"It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll!"|
After receiving the confirmation that I was going to Road Worlds just over 2 weeks before I left, I quickly had to organise my next month. I was only back at school for about a week before I flew out, and have been gone for almost a month! Before heading to Qatar, the junior women squad spent 2 weeks in Belgium, training and racing. The four junior women who were selected were the same girls who went to Junior Track Worlds- Erin Attwell, Devaney Collier, Laurie Jussaume and me, of course! This made it really easy to pick up where we left off, and we already knew how to live together, so it made for a fun, smooth pre-camp. We had a solid couple of weeks of training around Canada’s base in Tielt-Winge, Belgium. The one downside of Belgium was that the temperature only reached a high of 20 degrees for a couple of days, and would drop as low as 5 degrees, which wasn’t ideal preparing for a 35+ degree race! To help simulate the heat a bit I trained in as many layers of clothing that I had and we also went and spent some time in a 50 degree sauna!
|The squad: Laurie Jussaume, me, Erin Attwell, Devaney Collier|
|Front line start of the 2nd kermesse :)|
|Swallowed by The Oyster|
Photo-op on a recovery ride in Doha :)
The night before race day, we had a junior conference where I got to hear Eddy and Axel Mercx talk, along with the head of road UCI. My evening was then perfect, because I got to meet and take selfies with pro-riders Tiffany Cromwell, Elia Viviani and Marcel Kittel (who even liked the selfie I posted!!).
|Selfies with Marcel Kittel, Tiffany Cromwell and Elia Viviani!!!|
|Crash in the first kilometre of the race :/ oops!|
We had a total of 5 laps to do of the 15km course and there were two feed zones, as well as a neutral feed car at the back of the race. By the time we came around to the second feed zone, I was ready for a feed, having almost finished both bottles. However, it was a mess! There were bottles being thrown everywhere and rolling out into the road, and girls attacking to the front to get a better spot to feed. My hand slipped on the bottle, and to my dismay, I missed that one. By this time, the water left in my bottles was pretty warm, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my good positioning in the top 10-15 riders to go back to the neutral car. The next time we came around to the feed zone I was in great positioning and set to grab a bottle but another countries soigneur was trying to feed an athlete from almost the middle of the road, and I ended up body checking her as I didn’t have enough space to get past! It kind of hurt, but I stayed upright and recovered in time to grab an ice cold bottle with (thank gosh!) a bag of ice attached, that I put down the back of my jersey. Staying in the top part of the group, I was able to follow breaks and had some more control of the race. I knew who to watch, and stayed near the right wheels with 2 laps to go. Despite all the effort I had put in before the race to avoid cramping, with 2.5 laps to go, the muscles in my legs started knotting but I tried to ignore it. As we got down to the final countdown, the riders got even more aggressive and there was yelling and elbow bumping and some very close calls with crashing! With 3 km to go, I was in the top 7 and jumping from one countries train to the next. But I wasn’t quite aware enough, because in the last corner I missed the rush of riders who came up on the inside, and ended up getting boxed in and had to fight my way out. Cramping legs and all, I managed to cross the line in 14th place, which wasn’t the result I was hoping for but taking into account all the obstacles I had, I was proud of how I raced! My first thought when I crossed the finish line was “All I want right now is to go do more racing in Europe!”. Congrats to my teammates for all racing a solid race; we’ll get it next year!
|Meeting my idol Marianne Vos!!|
This concludes my 2016 road season, and now it’s time to ramp it up for Cross Nationals in 3 weeks!
|The Team :)|
Thank you so much to TaG Race Team, Epoch Analytical, Power2Max, BORN Sportscare, Obsession Bikes, SCOTT bikes, CODE Sports, Turbine, Masimo MightySat, Catlike, Cycles Lambert, Podium Imports and ISM Saddles, Neil Davies with Jubilee Cycle, Richard Wooles, Local Ride Racing, Cycling Canada and the Hamilton Foundation for the project, and of course my incredibly supportive family, coach/dad and friends for helping me make this an amazing year on the bike!!