Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BC Provincial Track Champion!

Last weekend was the BC provincial Track Championships.  As most of you know - I love Track riding/racing - So I was pretty excited for a weekend full of it.
Back in July I raced in the Marymore GP, and with not riding my track bike in a year I was able to be competitive all weekend, was 4th in the miss and out and won a nice Benjamin :)  Not bad right!
Racing at Marymore with Jessical Cutler
Unfortunately - my prep for Provincial Track Champs was along the same lines.  I recently got promoted at work (plus!), and have had a hard time getting to track practice (minus :().  The week before I managed to test out some standing starts, and some longer flying efforts because they are definitely my weakest point and what I was most worried about.  I was however, pretty confident I could hold my own in the mass start races.

The Provincial Jersey is only awarded to Omnium Champions - Sprint and Endurance.  This meant for the endurance Omnium (what I was competing in) it was the best overall racer after 6 different races.  On day one we had the Scratch race (mass start regular old race), the 3km Individual Pursuit, and the Miss and Out (last person across the line every other lap is out!).  Let me just say day one did not go very well.  I forgot to put my thinking cap on in both mass start races, and well - it was my first pursuit in over 3 years...so I was not prepared.  By the evening I was sitting in 3rd place, and very angry.  

The Points Race at BC Track Provincials

Warming up with Kyle and Adam
On day 2 I knew I could pull something better out then the day before.  The two shorter individual events suited me a bit more then the pursuit - the standing 500m and the flying lap.  Going into the last race I was still in third, and was made well aware that I had to win just about every sprint in the points race to win the overall - NO PRESSURE.  I knew it would be pretty hard because the two girls ahead of me had been giving me a hard time in every other event.  Thankfully, I raced like I knew I could, and with 2 sprints left I was leading the race.  However, in true Coney fashion, right before the second last sprint I crashed myself, and took my good friend and fellow racer out with me.  I got back in as soon as I could (after a quick stop to the pits), because I was not going to let a crash take the jersey away from me.  I was able to win the final sprint and took the Overall with it.  I haven't won anything in a while, and I was really proud to be able to pull this off for everyone who has helped me this year.  I also haven't been a Provincial Champion since I raced mountain bike in Ontario, so it feels all warm and fuzzy :)

Meghan, Me and Brenna - it was a tight race

Knowing that I wasn't able to put in much prep for Provincials, I am super motivated to work my butt off to get ready for Nationals in Milton Ontario in January, where I can rep BC and TRT with pride. 

I want to send a HUGE shout out to the Buckowskies for taking me under their wing, Jen Gerth for being an awesome friend all weekend, Meghan for still being my friend after I took her out, Kelyn and Burnaby Velodrome Club for creating such a good environment and race series,  everyone at TRT for all of your endless support and to my mom and dad:).

Whistler Gran Fondo/ Hitchhiking

I finally caved - I did the Whistler Gran Fondo for the first time this year. 120km, starting at 6:30 am, going up to whistler on the highway.  

To be perfectly honestly this is not my idea of a fun race, but knowing that my team mates and supporters were all going to be there, I knew I had to be apart of it.  And I will admit - riding over lions gate bridge to get to the start at 5:30 am was pretty epic and worth the early wake up :)
My cousin Steph and I at the Finish - all smiles always :)
TRT raced in the Giro - which went off a bit before the rest of the Fondo, girls and guys mixed.  I didn't think this would be an issue because it was deemed a 'neutral start'.  If you witnessed it however - it was anything but.  By the time we hit Taylor Way(the first big climb) I was DONE!  And this was only 10 minutes in!   
After a cruddy start, I was honestly considering just riding home (I was only a few blocks from there anyways), but I remembered I didn't have my house keys - so I really had no option :) (kidding of course!)
I managed to get into a group with my teammate Brandi, and some other people who I knew - so the ride started to improve.  After suffering until Sqwamish with my group (about 15 of us 11 guys 4 girls), the guys started popping one by one, and I started to feel better the more we rode.  After every climb I would look back and there would be one less person, which gave me a bit of a boost because I am not that fond of climbing myself.  Soon there were 4, 2 girls, 2 guys - how's that for girl power :)  
I was starting to feel great, and we were about 20 km from Whistler when BANG - flat tire.  I may have cursed really loud...  And because I was under the impression this was a regular race - I of course had no pump, no tube, no nothing.  My group left me - and I decided to keep rolling easy until I found some help (as one does in a regular race).  However - there was no one to be seen.  For miles.  I waved down a motor bike but they just took my picture instead.  A couple Gran Fondo groups passed me - but no one offered me anything (i guess because I was still riding they thought I was just very slow haha).  I may have evern stuck my thumb out to try and hitch a ride - still no takers :( Finally - Brandi was my savior and generously gave me her pump and tube.  I was so happy to know I would make it back in time for the TRT party.  PRIORITIES! I quickly fixed my flat (mtb racer style), got on (of course in the biggest gear), and a nice man pushed me to help get me going.  And then.. BANG! WTF!?  I cried.  I just wanted to be done.  
Thomas and I climbed Mt Baker with Todds Racing a few weeks before hand.
So I rode, on my flat, for another 5 km until another Angel (Jamie) caught up to me.  If anyone knows Jamie you will know what I mean when I say he was reaming me out.  He was telling me how bad it was that I was riding on my rim and I should just fix it and I must have done something wrong to make it flat again.  I knew he was right - but I was so over it.  Jamie kindly fixed my flat (after much reluctance on my part), it was the dang rim tape, and we were off again in no more then 10 minutes haha.  
However - as soon as I got back on - guess who came storming by....the one and only Thomas Hass.  I have met Thomas a few times and to me, he seems exactly like Jens Voight - So full of energy and so silly and SO FAST.  As he rode past he yelled 'SUNSHINE - Lets go!', so of course I killed myself to get on his wheel, and was able to finish with my new idol :)  That last 5 km was probably the hardest of the whole ride haha.
So - I didn't have a good result, and I didn't have a great ride, but it was a pretty solid story and I always love dropping guys.  
Helena, Kristine and I doing unusual training for the fondo...:)
After the race we had an awesome TRT social, swim at the lake, and crashed a Lululemon party.  All in all - a pretty sweet day.  The next morning I rode home to North Van with two Italians who wore nothing but Rapha and spoke only once the whole way down.  I too - had very few words.