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Canadian Nationals
9 Jul, 2003

I've just returned from Hamilton, Canada where I competed in the Canadian Road Nationals. They ran the race as a UCI event opening it up foreigners, as this is the course that will be used for the Road Worlds in October. Originally Diet Rite was going to send a team to help out our Canadian, Cybil Diguistini, but then decided it didn't fit into the budget. I still really wanted to see how I'd go on the Worlds course so booked a ticket and paid my own way to compete.

 

I am so glad that I went, the course is just awesome, super hilly, with two major climbs on a 12.4 km lap. One is 1.5km and the other 2km. The first one I liked, a nice twisty-turny, tree-lined sheltered climb as opposed to the other which is a big highway climb where you can see the top from almost the very bottom, it just drags!!!

 

The race went really well for me, I ended up 6th. There was a big field for a National Champs, 80 girls started. Genevieve Jeanson (Rona) and Lynne Bessette (Saturn) attacked on the 3rd of 9 laps following a huge crash on one of the descents. About 15 girls came down resulting in some broken bones as well as numerous cases of the usual road rash. After witnessing the carnage Lynne and Genevieve decided that they preferred a smaller group and set off on their own. I made it into the 2nd group with 10 others. There had been an early break that had my teammate Cybil in it, but they were eventually reeled in by the leading duo and my group with 3 laps to go. Sue Palmer-Komar (Genesis-Scuba) was sitting 3rd in no mans land between my group and the 2 leaders so we ended up sprinting for 4th.

 

I was looking after Cybil now as she had to be in the top 6 of the Canadians if she wanted a shot at getting to Worlds also. So she was on my wheel for the finish but I just couldn't quite get up to Amy Moore (Saturn) who had snuck away with just under 1km to go. I was still so happy with my 6th place and Cybil was pleased with her 7th and to be in the top 6 Canadians as well.

 

The next day I had some free time so I headed over to check out Niagara Falls. It was soooo awesome!! I took heaps of pictures and got lots of souvenirs. After playing tourist for a few hours I started back on the drive to Ann Arbor, Michigan. My boyfriend's parents live there and I had borrowed one of their cars for the trip to Hamilton, a 4 hour drive so it worked out well. I was all nervous about crossing the US/Canada border because I had heard they were really tough when you drive over too, but I had super nice guys both times so there was no stress at all!!

 

Now I'm back in Colorado Springs where we just had another great weekend of racing. Friday night was track racing at the US Olympic Velodrome where I raced with the guys and grabbed two seconds in both the miss and out and 5 mile scratch. I then paired up with my boyfriend for the Pro 1, 2 Madison where we ended up 3rd overall (on even laps too!!) and finished the race off with me taking the last sprint by a couple of centimetres. The crowd loved it!  

 

Saturday was a criterium up in a place called Cripple Creek - an old gold mining town in the Rocky Mountains sitting at 9,494 feet!!! This is the highest crit in the world - talk about some brutal racing at altitude! To make matters even harder the course was a big hotdog shaped thing that went straight uphill on one side of Main Street then made a u-turn and came right back down on the other side!! My teammate Kori got in the winning break that day with Katrina Grove (T-Mobile), so I won what was left of the bunch sprint for 3rd.

 

Sunday was another criterium, the Ed Burke Memorial, this time at a more civilized elevation of 6,000 feet in downtown Colorado Springs. It was a big women's field and I broke away from the group with about 15 minutes to go with Missy Thompson. We carved out a small gap of 10 seconds initially while the field chased and stretched it out to 30 seconds in the closing laps. I lead the sprint out and held on for the win. It was an awesome way to close out the weekend!

 

I am staying here in the Springs for another couple of weeks and getting in some good training in preparation for the "The International", a 7 day stage race in Altoona, PA.

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