This past weekend was the BC Elite Provincial Road Championships, taking place in Aldergrove, BC, and put on by Escape Velocity (the people behind much of BC’s great race scene). Included was a 36km time trial on the Saturday, and — for the women — it was a 100km road race on the Sunday. The men did another couple laps making the race nearly 140km.
The TT stretched along Zero Avenue, where riders went out and back two times to make up the length, and finished on a little kicker of a hill. The RR was made up of 20km laps, each featuring a succession of punchy steep climbs as well as hefty winds and some technical corners.
Both days were nice and warm, good weather for a championship weekend! I was excited and nervous going into the Time Trial, and It really helped to have four of the TRT women’s team out doing the event, as we were all in the same boat, and getting ready and warming up in the company of teammates is always nice. Once warm ups were finished and bikes were ready with race wheels we all headed to the start ramp. It was cool to be able to see the other racers, including all the TRT riders, many times throughout the all the back-and-forths.
I gave it my all in this time trial and am quite happy with how I paced the long race. I finished up the day in third, and this was even better because Callie took the provincial jersey, and Isabella placed second! With a new BC title, a TRT podium sweep, and lots of tired legs, the team was certainly satisfied with the day.
The next morning we all headed back out to Aldergrove Regional Park for the road race. There are many racers who choose to not compete in the TT for various reasons, and this means that the field was bigger and full of fresh legs for this event. My legs were feeling the deep digging I had done the day before, but I knew I still had some left to give for this race.
I had gotten a chance to pre ride the course a few days before, which was both very helpful and making me very nervous. Historically, this type of course with lots of punchy climbs one after another would have done me in. I was trying to put old experiences out of my head though and focus on the day in relation to my recent legs, which would hopefully be present for this race and allow me to stay with the group of super strong women.
Leah came out to cheer us on and help us out, so we were able to have really constructive team meetings before and after the race. The team plan included being patient and only following moves in the first three laps, and then lots of launching them in the fourth, to hopefully establish a break with at least two of us represented. I ended up following an attack at the bottom of the climb on lap two, to make sure it didn’t slip away. Anna had followed a similar move in the first lap. We wanted to make sure we were covering everything, no loose ends.
Finally in lap four we started the attacks, but unfortunately even after each of the five of us had dug deep time and time again, nothing was sticking. I actually got dropped after doing a few hard attacks, but was able to catch back on along with Isabella at the bottom of the course for the final lap. I got dropped once more in the final lap on the last climb, but with another rider worked hard to catch the group again.
Although the pack had decreased in size after all the hard repeats up those hills, a break had never been established, so it seemed like things were coming down to a bunch sprint. Callie communicated to me that she only had one gear, due to a mechanical problem. She gave me a gel and encouraged me for the final sprint. Despite being absolutely cooked at this point in the day, I tried to get ready mentally for the finish. In the end, another rider got off the front with a beautiful attack in the last couple kms, and she took the win. The sprint was bit chaotic, but Michele took fifth place and I crossed the line behind her in sixth.
We hadn’t necessarily achieved our outcome goal for the day, but the process really was amazing. We gave it everything out there! It turned out that I was first in the U23 category, so we did still come away from the day with the U23 Provincial RR title! I am just really happy to have made it through this super hard race alongside the province’s strongest bike racers, many of which are my awesome teammates. Thanks to everyone who came out to support TRT at the provincial championships!