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National Championships

National Championships Silver Medallist

25th July 2017

Canmore, Alberta was a pandora’s box in more ways than one. I spent a lot of time this trip in awe and I still am. Of the Rockies, of the course, of Canmore and booming local cycling community.

Having terrible starts is a habit I’m trying to break. I’d been doing so well lately but I think nerves got to me there. I’m so far back I can barely see me, can you? Looking for a yellow helmet… BUT I managed to make up some time and the next shot out of the woods I’m top four!

Sophianne Samson, Soren Meeuwisse, Mackenzie Myatt, Jenn Jackson (lead group)

Rolling into the “Eye Dropper”

Eventually… omg omg I was leading at National Championships. This is like a dream I wouldn’t let myself have and I didn’t know what to do with it! Besides enjoy it, you bet I did. I hope to be up here again very soon. It only lasted for about a lap before I crashed and took myself out. Then I did it again, and again for the next two laps. In the exact same spot… these descents in Canmore certainly wreaked havoc this weekend and not only on me, but let’s do less of that next time, shall we? More riding and less rolling in the dirt.

Once Jenn got away from me after my first crash and I couldn’t catch back up, the gap about a minute with two lap or so to go- I made it my goal to race smart, clean and upright and maintain my position.

Cue sick action shot/pain face

Celebrating as I cross the line- I was so, so stoked. I grin every time I look at this picture. The cheers were deafening. And damn, that Team Nova Scotia kit looks good!

Sunday Funday next up:

“Forward Racing-Norco wins Challenge Relay”

That’s a pretty sweet jersey too, and it was an honour to wear it for a day. Oh yeah, and that’s Kabush behind me… couldn’t keep up? lol I’m kidding but seriously one of the best parts of a relay is being on course with almost ALL the big guns Canada has. Even if I obviously need bigger guns to fit into this jersey…

“Sean Fincham hands off to Andrew L Esperance”

Check out these guys, they’re pretty fast. Sean is your 2017 U23 National Champ and Lespy finished 7th in Elite. Besides the obvious cool factor of this team combo, two of us are Nova Scotian and two of us go to SCAD Atlanta. Oh, and three of us are obsessed with mountain biking 😉

“MM as Forward Racing- Norco anchor” – why do I look so small and why does it look like it hurts so much??! That’s day two racing for ya.

FUN FACT: looks like Jenn hurt exactly the same amount I did because our relay lap times were identical to the second 🙂 And yes, the excitement is only building for Canada Games here on in. It’s going to be a tight race and I’m ready for the wheel to wheel action.

Just like Nationals, it’s a very competitive field and more than a few girls who could take the top step on any given day. Racing this weekend has helped me to appreciate the fact that ANYTHING can happen in a race. It can be terrifying that so many factors are out of your control but I think I’m learning to embrace it. Take care of myself and my own preparation- that’s all I can control and that’s what I’m focusing on. The mental work never ends, but neither do the smiles!

I considered doing one big blog post after Games, but there are so many awesome pictures from this weekend I had to write something up and besides, now it’s fresh. There are a few factors that made this race an extra challenge and now, make me even prouder of my performance. Canmore is at a little bit of altitude, but the biggest problem is the dry air, not thin. I’m keeping my notes on this one for future reference, I think it worked. There’s a small time difference from NS but I have to say I felt right at home at ‘Hotel Lamb’ in Calgary. Massive thank you to Jamie and Zuzka (and Isla) for hosting Dad and I. For the food, roof, encouragement and cheers during the race to live updates on the WBL.

Thank you to every one at home who supported and encouraged me, the kind words only fuel the fire! #novascotiaproud Thank you to my sponsors and big long time supporters: Cyclesmith, Bontrager, Trek bikes, Bicycle Nova Scotia, Support4Sport and Oakley.

Thanks to my parents, family and friends who’ve been cheering me on 🙂 Hands down best moment right here.

Thanks to Rob Jones from Canadian Cyclist for the great shots and to Jamie for the last one.

I am an aspiring athlete looking to make my mark on the mountain biking world. I love racing and training with my teammates, and I am looking for new ways to be faster and stronger- the fun is always in a good race!