For me, I can attain success by doing the little things right. This past Junior Road nationals was incredible. I can truly say that I went into all of my races and left everything I had out on the road. I didn't win, but I sure didn't loose either. I gained so much racing. From drilling it on the hills through Gatineau Park, to trying to sprint for that finish line. I sure finished my last Junior National Championships on a high note.
Our road race started out at about 11:30 on Saturday June 24th. It was hot, not quite as hot as last year, but after a cold winter in Victoria, BC hydration and staying cool was definitely something to stay on top of.
The Junior Women’s race was 70km long completing a total of seven laps of the course. The race was aggressive, with constant attacks going off the front. I managed to place myself up in the top third of the pack making it easy to respond to all of the attacks, when gaps were formed they never lasted more then a bout a quarter of a lap. We came into the last few corners on the course pretty spicy, positioning at this point was crucial.
After following wheels, I came into the second to last corner 2nd but I couldn't quite come around Laurie who took an early and unexpected flyer, this made it extremely hard to come around her. I was unable to defend my road race title but was happy to take the second step on the podium.
After a few days off we set off to Gatineau Park bright and early for the TT start. This course was hilly on the way out. My TT was only 16km long turning around just before the left hand turn where all the elite and junior men would continue. The course was perfect for under over efforts, riding above threshold up the climbs with a bit of recovery on the descents, this was the best strategy for getting a fast time. I had my own success, shaving 41 seconds off my time from last year - I was able to claim the third step on the podium after that ride.
The criterium on Thursday started out hard, Maggie and Simone gunning it right off the line trying to form a break (last year we formed the break. Maggie, Simone and me made the break but I dropped back due to back pain. They stayed away for the whole race and Maggie Took first followed by Simone a Cadet at the time). This race was aggressive, the speed was high for most of the race, definitely a race of attrition. By the end we shelled most of the pack, starting with 31 and finishing with about eight.
After the 30 min race plus three laps I came into the final stretch in third wheel, a perfect place for the final sprint. After waiting too long it was too late to pull out on the right so I started my sprint with about 200m to go, pulling left from Simone only to be squeezed to the left as Laurie, the lead out for Simone, pulled off. I wasn't able to claim the top step but my sprint was quick enough to secure 2nd with Cycling BC teammate Sarah Van Dam taking third. BC for the podium sweep!
Overall I am proud of my performance at Nationals. I couldn't quite pull off getting another Canadian Champion title but I was the only girl present on all three podiums. Thank you to Cycling BC and Trek Red Truck racing for all of the support over the week would not have been able to perform the way I did with out you all.