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Junior World Championships Selection Camp

7th August 2015

National team selection camp, flying on my own and #bikeboxstruggles… Oh yeah, and I will be representing Canada at the World Championships in Andorra!!

Last week I flew by myself for the first time – it was exciting and actually went very well (aka I did not miss any connections as dad feared) However, what was more exciting was training with the junior national team in Mont Sainte-Anne last week. This camp was a dry-run for whoever would get invited to Worlds. This group was comprised of 4 girls, 4 guys and the national development coach – Ian Hughes. I had not spent much time with these girls, who I would be staying with in a chalet/condo for the week, but they were great! (See you guys in a couple of weeks :))

So training camp… What does that mean? It means I was super tired, super trained and ate a super lot! It was my first time buying groceries for myself, which was interesting to say the least, but I managed, thanks to high school French immersion. (One more year of that and I’ll have graduated.) I think dad was more worried about me feeding myself than I was… But with a 20h training week – trust me I WILL find food when I’m hungry!

A very busy week, but we still had time for sightseeing!

A very busy week, but we still had time for sightseeing!

Anyway, so why Mont Sainte-Anne? The race course in Andorra is extremely hilly – aka it’s in the Pyrenees. So where better to practice than on a mountain? MSA may have taken several thousand calories from me, but I climbed several hundred metres throughout the week! I think I ended up riding the full height of the mountain three times. By the third go, I was well acquainted and actually on friendly terms with the almost 700m climb.

The other main reason MSA was chosen was because it was the venue for the World Cup that weekend. Unfortunately, only the World Championship has a Junior category anymore, so we couldn’t race. However, we were still able to ride, tear up and analyze the course for the first couple of days!

The climbs are gruelling and the descents are wacky – all I can say is that I am motivated to work harder, so I can race that course in the future. It is also inspiring to be able to train with some of the best junior athletes in the country – I didn’t know I could push myself so hard! We did starts, intervals, long fun rides, and lots and lots of climbing. Sometimes we went exploring… sometimes we got lost – both are fun when you’re not in charge and you have tons of snacks!

Another very cool thing that happened last week (besides getting a team Canada kit) was meeting some of the National Team staff. I look forward to working with them; they have a very strong and friendly environment set up. I know they’ll have my back in Andorra.

So yeah, I think that’s about it for now, I will let everyone know how Worlds goes! I am very excited and I know that I will learn so much from the experience.

This camp was invaluable preparation for my first World Championships, thank you to everyone to made it happen and who has been supporting me. From family to friends, coaches and sponsors! Mom, dad, my brother…the rest of my family – haha. Thanks to Ian Hughes and the National Team Staff. Thank you to Bontrager, Cyclesmith and Cyclesmith Junior Racing Team, Sport Nova Scotia, Steele Ford and BNS! I wouldn’t be here without you. Looking back at the process and everyone who has helped me is vital, but now we are looking forward!

Me-far left.

Peak of MSA!

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!