The last race of the Canadian National Road Championships was the criterium, held in old town Aylmer, Quebec. The course is a technical one, with many corners, and with a fast downhill stretch and an uphill finishing drag.

Gabby, Anna and I lined up at the start of the elite women’s race in a torrential downpour. Luckily the rained stopped minutes before the start and the sun peeked out for our race. This didn’t really improve the conditions of the roads, however. Lake-like puddles were present in all the corners, and this psyched me out on top of the extreme nerves I already had going into the 60min race!

My determination to hold good position in the front third of the pack was soon lessened and I found I was hanging back in the corners, with the fear of sliding out in water going through my head. Anna did a great job of holding her ground in the pack with strong positioning, and riding a really smart race.

Eventually though, due to one too many burnt matches or to some sketchy moves by other racers, all of us found ourselves out of the race. The good thing is that I can say with certainty that I learned a massive amount in this criterium, and that I will be putting these learnings into practice next week at BC Superweek!

It was a great experience, albeit a scary one, to line up for a race against women who I’ve looked up to on the world stage since I began racing as a u15.