Thursday, May 23, 2013

Albstadt World Cup #1

It has been an exciting week in Europe and I think it's time for an update! We flew into Frankfurt on Tuesday and drove to our race accomodation in Jungingen (just outside of Albstadt). It was a long day with an overnight flight so we were off to bed early for a solid 11.5hr sleep.
Hotel Post in Jungingen
Our awesome breakfasts
Team chocolate fondue
Our favourite little bakery in Jungingen
Artistic Bottle Holder
Getting onto the course Wednesday was pretty exciting as I had never been to Albstadt before. The course had been wet earlier in the week but a lot of gravel was put down and everything was rideable. The climbing was almost all on steep roads or doubletrack and the descents had some slick corners and rocks, making for lots of all-out climbing and tired, slippery descending.
The forecast was calling for rain for most of the weekend, but we lucked out on Saturday with 20 degrees and sunny skies. My race went fairly smooth, moving up a little each lap and finishing in 20th position. It was a little hard to know what to expect at my first European U23 World Cup, but now I feel even more ready for the race this weekend in Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic.
The town of Albstadt
Castle (way off in the distance)

Bike got a little muddy this week

Road out of Jungingen


After the elite men's and women's races on Sunday, we headed to Nuremberg for a couple of nights before crossing over into Czech Republic. We got in an easy exploration ride on Tuesday and headed to the old city Tuesday night for a team dinner.
St. Sebaldus Church

We are now in Saar, Czech Republic and looking forward to World Cup #2 this weekend!
Rockgarden on the Czech course


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Exciting Couple of Weeks in Ontario!

The first home race is always pretty exciting and nerve-wracking, as no one is really sure what to expect out of their bodies and their competition. My first race back at home was the Ontario Cup at Woodnewton, and this year the Ontario Cycling Association put on a 'U23 Eliminator' race on Saturday, which added to the excitement of the weekend. It was my first eliminator race so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it ended up being really fun and a good way to get activated for Sunday's XC. I finished 2nd in the final and was happy to get a chance to try an eliminator race before racing the World Cup Eliminators in Europe later this month.
I was feeling good going into Sunday's XC race and was keen to defend my win at last year's Woodnewton O-Cup. We got off to a quick start with Cindy Montambault, Laura Bietola and I getting a gap on the rest of the field in the first lap. Laura was strong on the climbs and after 2 laps it was just her and I at the front. On Lap 3 Laura got a gap on me and I couldn't chase back on before the finish. Overall it was a great weekend with two 2nd places and I am feeling confident going into the first 2 World Cups next week.

Trek Canada's U23s
Elite Women's Podium

Last weekend I also got the chance to help out with the 8th annual Ontario Shredders U15 Devo MTB camp at Hardwood Ski and Bike. I have helped out with this camp before, but I can honestly say this was the best group of kids ever! We had over 60 kids attend the camp and over 10 coaches and helpers, by far the biggest camp yet. The future of mountain biking in Ontario is looking bright!

To top it all off, I recieved my brand new Superfly race bike! I've gotten out on it a few times and I can't say enough great things about it. It's light, it's stiff, it's fast! The new 896gram frame, SRAM XX and top of the line Bontrager parts make it by far the lightest mountain bike I've ever had. Thank you to Trek Canada, SRAM and ESI for tricking out our rides!
I am off to Europe Monday with Team Canada to race World Cups 1&2 in Germany and Czech. I can't wait! Check back for some Euro updates.