This trip is already just so good it needed a mid-camp blog post. So where to start: I am in Israel training for Worlds with Cycling Canada and the National Israeli team. The group we have here is a mix of U23 men, elite women, and elite men both from Canada and Israel.
When I started racing bikes, I started racing on the track. I was still a bike messenger, most days working on a fixed-gear track bicycle out in the streets, and a few friends and I made the jump to do our Learn to Ride program together at the Burnaby Velodrome. I started racing track on Friday nights, and I wouldn't start racing on the road until the following summer.
The insanity is real. European racing is certainly a different beast then your typical North American road race. After racing some 10 races in my 20ish days in Belgium, the Erpe-Mère UCI race most certainly stands out in my mind as one for the books. This is mainly due to the insanity of it all; an insanity that could only be bike racing in Europe.
The best way to start this is with words from my coach: Belgium racing, like running into a brick wall, best to bring your hammer. After a strong Superweek and a spicy Cascades, the proverbial hammer was packed and I was ready for some fun on the other side of the pond.
Cascades Cycling Classic has never been considered easy. This five-stage race is held in the hot and arid town of Bend Oregon and boasts lengthy road races with huge elevation gain. This stage race is notably challenging as it falls right after BC Superweek and many athletes, myself included, find it difficult to switch from crit mode to mountain climbing mode.
Arguably the MK Delta Crit is one of the hardest races of BC Superweek. The circuit is rectangular with a fast down hill into a tight left turn on one of the long sides, and a grinding climb on the backside, and he start/finish is directly after the final left. Due to the closeness of the line, the race for all intents and purposes is a race to the fourth corner.
Usually my best races are when I feel the worst, I have no idea why that’s how it works. However, strangely the second crit of BC Superweek didn’t work that way, right from the gun I felt great and it was weird.
Another year of a superb sunny week of some of the fastest racing in North America came to town. BC Superweek is our time to shine as we are a local team and these are HUGE opportunities to really get your name out there!
The White Rock Road Race is the last day of BC Super Week. The race is a 10 km circuit race through White Rock totaling up to 80 km of racing. This is a hard and technical course with steep punchy climbs and quick descents.
I recently finished two weeks of racing back East. First was the Canadian Road Nationals in Ottawa where I raced with Team Alberta, and the next was a junior women’s race in Rimouski, Quebec where I raced with NCCH (National Cycling Centre Hamilton).
Day seven of SuperWeek undoubtedly brings about fatigued legs among the peloton and team, but the motivation soars high knowing we have two more shots at a win on our home turf. The Choices Market White Rock Criterium stands as one of the more fierce courses of attrition at Super Week with a significant hill on the back stretch notoriously dwindling the pack lap by lap.
So far this year we haven’t had any rain during Superweek, but Thursday night it decided to pour right before the women’s race at Burnaby. This would make the already technical course with a U-turn every lap all the more cagey.
This past Sunday the TRT women took on the Delta UCI road race, the third event in BC Superweek. Delta is always a really good opportunity for us – it’s technical, fast, with just enough of a climb to make it challenging. We were met by a beautiful sunny day, a definite change from the last few years that were grey and rainy.
Coming half way through BC Superweek, the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix gets everyone fired up for an exciting day of racing. It doesn’t matter that you already have three days of racing in your legs – this is a big one!
First of all I can't begin to express how grateful I was to race for the Canadian National Team for the Tour De Beauce UCI 2.2. Thanks to Trek Red Truck p / b Mosaic Homes for all their support and getting me to where I am today. The Tour De Beauce is one of the hardest pro stage races in North America, six hard stages in five days in the hilly, bumpy, and unforgiving roads of the Beauce region of Quebec.
I have always wanted to give back to the local cycling community; for those who know me well, the skill I could contribute is my enthusiasm for sport and having fun. However, in the past I had found it challenging to find time between juggling working full time and training full time.
The weekend of racing in Enumclaw was filled with rain and freezing temperatures, a stark juxtaposition to the warm Californian roads I had grown so fond of. After the first two stages of racing, Sara had battled her way to 1st in the General Classification (GC) with a 1st in the TT, and after some great team work, a 2nd in the crit.
The Robert Cameron Cycling Series, also known as the Victoria Bike Festival, is the only time that most of us get the pleasure of racing on the island all season. Although the format of the race has changed a little in recent years, this season saw it go back to the Dallas Road TT on Friday evening, the incredibly hilly Metchosin Road Race on Sunday, and a criterium around the BC Legislature on Sunday which, given its location, was also rather fittingly the BC Provincial Championships.
The weekend of racing at the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage race kicked off Saturday morning with a flat and fast 10.5km “Merckx” style time trial. The weather was less then cooperative and proceeded to try to drown the riders on course by just raining harder. Luckily the whole team came prepared with Kyle and Dylan both getting in the top five on the stage at 3rd and 5th respectively.
June never fails to be a great month for the Red Truck women. The warm weather brings some pretty epic races, one of the biggest of which is Gatineau. With Nationals based in Ottawa and the Gatineau Park at the end of the month, Gatineau would also give us a chance to test our legs out on some of the tough roads we’ll be facing.
A full Squad of Trek Red Truck guys was set to crush the 2016 Tour De Bloom featuring Brendan, Christian, Craig, Dylan, Geordie, Ty, Mike, and myself. Leavenworth Road Race. 100 km’s of breakaway is a good way to describe this stage. In the first 10 km or so Michael, Dylan, and myself got into a large breakaway of 10 riders.
The first stage was a 106 km road race starting and finishing in Leavenworth. We began the race on a gradual climb and once at the top of the climb, the race continued with two loops. Being one of two teams at the race, there were a lot of individual riders, which made it more challenging to start a break.
A friend once said "The Tour of Gila, this race is the hardest race ever, it will literally make you hate cycling." A week later, the Monster has passed and the stage race is now over. Do I hate cycling? Not at all. Was it the hardest stage race ever? Pretty much.
During Redlands I got an email asking if I would like to guest ride for Team Rally (formerly known as Optum). My initial thought was; “f*** ya!” as signing a contract with a team of this caliber at the end of the 2016 is my number one outcome goal of the season.