The 2011 Immunity FX- Elite Canadian Road Championships were held in the greater Toronto area from June 23rd through to June 26th. The annual event attracted many of the top cyclists from across Canada, including Olympic medalists and World Champions. Over three days of competition, featuring the Individual Time Trial, Road Race and Points Criterium, hundreds of riders competed for the Red and White Canadian Champion jersey.
The first national title was handed out on Thursday, June 23rd in the Individual Time Trial in the small town of Belfountain, Ontario. There were 40 riders to start in the Elite Women’s category, and we completed a 21.67km loop that featured a full course of rolling hills and 80 meters of vertical feet per lap. We showed up bright and early, in fact we were the first ones there except one of the teams mechanics. I tried to nap and just stay relaxed. I knew that the time trial wasn't my expertise, but I would give it my fair shot. I dont have any of my own tt equipment, which makes it hard. I was riding a heavy disk from the 90's and it only had 7 gears to it lol, and a 21 as the highest gear...which is brutal with a lot of climbing like we had. I had an aero bar set up on my trek road frame. I was listening to a cervelo video the other day, and it said the difference between the top of the line S3 TT bike and S5 TT bike that just came out is about ONE MINUTE difference in 30km time trail. Thats so insane, as I didnt even have a time trial bike let alone the top of the line ones most of my competitors had. I hope that I can save up for one or get on a team that would provide me with a TT bike for next year!
I started out fast, like usual, and I had to climb the monster hill within the first 1km of the race in a 21, which was not fun! It was incredibly windy and being small with a disk it blew me around the road quite a bit. Overall it wasn't the greatest time trial i've ever done, but it was the first one over 8km I had raced this year...and I had only been on the trek with aero set up once before that. I finished 5th overall in U23, and was content with that. Hopefully next year I can place higher up than that, just gives me a bigger goal to look up to.
The Elite/U23 women’s road race took place on Friday, late evening. There were 74 starters in the Elite Women’s field, and a large, strong bunch of U23 riders as well. The course started at the top of a gruelling climb to Rattlesnake point up the Niagra Escarpment. The riders had to choose an easy gear to make it up the climb 8 times. I was unlucky with selecting too big of a gear- which lead me to almost track stand on some of the switch backs. It was so awful, at some points I was barely moving. Following the start line, the course continued up a false flat and turned into a straight, high-speed descent where we reached 86km/hr. The rest of the race course was fought batteling tough head winds on Brittannia Rd, and harsh cross winds on both the descent and the ascent leading up to rattlesnake climb. Each lap, the peleton was shattered by some of the top riders setting a hard tempo up the climbs. The course allowed most of the peleton to regroup, but many riders were still lost each circuit. The climb each lap seemed to get steeper and steeper than the previous time up. There was an early break in the race, forcing riders to do some chasing. However, the solo breakaway was caught near the finishing lap.
The race was ultimately dominated by the steep, taxing climb every lap, and it was the deciding factor for who would capture the victory. This climbers course was won by P-K Express/HNZ Strategic.com rider Veronique Fotin of Quebec dropping everyone on the last climb and soloing to victory. I fell just outside of 5% of the leaders time on the last lap, completing 7 out of 8 laps of the course. Over 25 riders had DNF’d or had been time cut, proving just how difficult of a course it was!
The 2011 Immunity-FX Elite Canadian Road Championships concluded with the Canadian Criterium Challenge on Sunday afternoon. The weather was great, and there was 50 Elite/U23 Women starting the race. The race featured many of the best racers once again from across Canada, showcasing some of the top sprinters in the nation as well. This criterium was run as a Points race. We sprinted every five laps, for 30 laps total, for sprint points, which would decide the placing of racers at the end of the day. There were six sprints in total, and the top four racers, each sprint, were awarded with either 5,3,2,1 points for placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th respectively, with the final sprint for double points.
The loop was run on a 1.1km circuit, which showcased a steep 13% climb and a quick downhill descent into a sharp right hand corner on narrow streets in Georgetown, Halton Hills, Ontario. The race started out at a fast pace, naturally splitting the peleton into various groups along the very technical course. Iwas able to be up front and in the front split of about 10 riders, capturing points for fourth place in the first and second sprint. The race was stopped and neutralized by an emergency with a spectator on the course, allowing all the riders to re-bunch at the start/finish line for a few minutes. This gave the riders a quick break to have something to eat and drink, but was tough on the legs to stop and go. The race re-started once again, only to be stopped for the second time to move the medical vehicle out of the inside of the course. The riders re-grouped once again, but with only a handful of riders left in the race.
Overall, I took 2nd place in the U23 category, and 8th overall in the Elite Women’s category. Only nine riders were scored in the results overall, with Leah Kirchmann of Team Manitoba/Colavita capturing the win, for the second year in a row, Congrats Leah!!!
It was also great being able to stay at my grandparents house the entire week for nationals and a few days before. My mom was lucky enough to come and watch me race, as well as lots of other family out in Ontario. It was a great weekend, and was nice to finally endure some hot weather!!
And yes, I know that this blog post is long over due, but I have worked 60 hours in the last week and a half almost, and have been really busy with training as well.
I'm also really excited to hear how many Manitoba kids are going out to Mountain Bike nationals. Its about time we send a larger team!! I wish everyone good luck there! It'll be an amazing prep for Western Canada Summer Games in about one month!!! Manitoba has been doing really well for such a small province of cycling in the lat while. I hope it keeps up, everyone has been racing amazing. Chris Prendergast won the Jr. Boys criterium at road Nationals, and is off to the Jr. Boys national team camp in Ontario and the Tour de L'Abitibi. He has the possibility of racing for team Canada for Commonweath and World Jr. Championships depending how L'Abitibi goes! Jess also made the Jr. Team Spidertech team for Tour de L'Abitibi! So good luck to you both! And a big congrats to Leah Kirchmann! Took home a 2nd in U23 in the road race and the tt, and won the elite womens crit! It was great racing as Manitoba too for the weekend!
We have BC Superweek coming up, and I am very excited. I am really looking towards these races back with the Trek girls. There are lots of crits too, which I am excited to hopefully get some good results for me and Trek Red Truck as well. I race Friday the 8th, Saturday, Sunday, then Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday the following week. I will see what I can do with blog post, but there will probably be one after this weekend and then at the end.
All for now,
PS Dad, I'm going to beat you at velogames...just wait! I have good climbers!