Monday, 14 March 2016

It's a New Game

  My first race in the Elite field was for sure a whole different game than the Junior races I have grown used to.
  The First Canada Cup of the season was held at Bear Mt. Resort near Victoria, BC. I was SO excited coming over to this race because 1) I had never ridden in BC before, 2) I got to miss school, 3) I hadn't mountain biked in MONTHS, 4) I was going to spend a week with my best friends, and last but not least 5) I was going to line up on the start line with some of the best riders in Canada and the world! 

Thanks to Trek Store Toronto, I had this Trek Superfly race machine ready so early in the year! 

I stayed with Team Ontario before and during the race, with my Coach, Kevin Simms, leading this group! (Quinton, Brodie, Marc-Antione, Dana, myself, and Tyler) 

I arrived very late Wednesday night to mountain bike for my first time on Thursday, and to race Saturday! 

There are some pre-race nerves (and determination!) hiding behind that smile. 

We were SO insanely lucky that race day was mostly sunny and very warm! I was expecting a mud fest for this race... And although it is always a bit muddy in Victoria, we couldn't have asked for nicer weather. 

A shot from the first kilometre of the race! 

I started the race conservative, not knowing where my fitness was at after a long winter and knowing that the race would be much longer than what I'm used to. 

Coming through the feed zone, receiving my bottles and encouraging words from Kevin! 

I was very impressed with the course. It had everything: sustained, double track power climbs, flow and jump sections, twisty technical single track power ups, open grassy fields, and tricky single track with rocks and roots everywhere. 

Thanks to Braison Images and Jay Walrus for some of these race action shots! 

Overall, my race was very progressive. I had consistent lap times, so I was continuously picking off people throughout the race. I really surprised myself with my race endurance! 

My final placement was 3rd U23, and 10th Elite! I am very happy with this result for an early season race, and I'm looking forward to my improvement from here. 

Shout out and congrats to Quinton for winning the Junior Ex. race!!! 

The day after the race I was lucky enough to join the top ladies on an epic MTB ride through Hartland trails! It was so inspiring to actually train with Catherine Pendrel and  Emily Batty rather than just cheering for them in races. This ride also included many other rad riders who I've looked up to for many years. 

After the race I stayed in the luxurious Bear Mt. Resort thanks to their support and Cycling Canada! Laurie Arsenault and I had a few amazing days together training in Hartland, exploring the hiking trails, and scouting out restaurants! 

What's next?

A LOT of school.... Heading back to the second round of university midterms, then one month until exams! 
Once I'm done my first year at the end of April, I'm going to be travelling for training and racing all summer long... starting with two World Cups in France and Germany! 

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