Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Road National Championships 2017

Soo back in the air and country traversing to Ottawa/Gatineau for the 2017 Junior Road National Championships. Firstly, shout out to mother nature for cooling down the weather, compared to the muggy heat of last year and sorry to the elite men who were caught in the thunderstorm for both the road race and time trial!


Anyways, was great to be reunited with the TaG fam for our last big trip of the year, always chill times and lots of laughs to be had with those amazing people! So for my first subtitle, I would like to call this the Curse of the Road Race. Suffered bad luck last year with missing the break and cramping issues, and this year, 15km into the race, a crack in the road attacked my front tire and flat! A slow wheel car plus some attacks and an acceleration in the pack made my chase to get back on futile. I gave it my all, and still finished the 70km race with a few dropped riders 6 minutes back from the pack.

Focused before the road race start :)


Okay, I let that go and powered on to the next race: The Time Trial. Time Trials have never been my strong suit, and always something I’ve needed to dedicate a lot of time to. Before the race, I found roads out West similar to the course and did lots of training and simulations to prepare myself. I was warmed up and ready to prove to myself that I could do it. However, as it can happen in a race, other girls were stronger and I ended up 5th place. Now I know that’s still awesome, but as I am always shooting for that top step and have consistently high expectations for myself, it wasn’t good enough.

Pre-riding the TT with the TaG crew

Lucky me got to follow up the time trial by doing my French Provincial Exam at a school in Quebec... in a storm... during a power outage. But hey, the WiFi still worked so I went in and crushed that exam which meant I had officially completed High School!

Mandatory last exam taken at a school in Quebec, in a thunder storm and power outage after the Time Trial but on the bright side, I'm done High School!

One more day in Quebec and probably the race I was most excited for... The Criterium! I was a giddy, bubble of excitement all day and was beyond ready to defend my 2016 Crit Champ title! Last year, Simone Boilard and I had attacked off the line, and rode the whole race in a break with it coming down to a two up sprint. This year, I went in with the same plan, but the pack wasn't about to be tricked like that again. Despite numerous attacking attempts by some strong girls, a break never stuck, until the end where it ended up being a group of 9 of us with about a 30 second gap for the sprint. With a shorter, steeper hill up to the line, I left my jump until the last 150 meters and defended my title! Congrats also to Kurt Penno who defended his 2016 Junior Men's Crit Champ title as well :)

Crit champ title: defended :)

Thank you to TaG Cycling Race Team for making this happen and for my dad (Barry Lyster) and Kelyn Akuna for keeping us in line! Also, shout out to InstaFund Financial, RAND, Haywood Securities, Brookfield, TRG Group Benefits, Adera Home, Ryders Eyewear, SCOTT Bikes, Obsession Bikes, BORN Sportscare, Power2Max, ISM Seats and CODE Sports for all the support!

-Maggie <3

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Road Season 2017... where has the time gone?!

*So now with finally a bit of downtime, I'm going through some blog posts that I'd meant to finish, but for whatever reason grade 12 exams took priority*

3 weeks left of school... 1.5 weeks until Grad... 4 weeks until Road Nationals... AHHH. Where has the time gone?? It feels like just yesterday we had the first road race of the season. I'll try to avoid getting all nostalgic and sappy, so instead I'll do a short recount of the past 3 months.

The travel started in February, when my mom and I flew to LA to go grad dress shopping with my aunt and I also managed to squeeze in a a few training days at the LA Velodrome with ex-Canadian sprint coach, Travis Smith. With Nationals only a month away, it was great to get a few days of concentrated sprint work in!

A few weeks later, I hopped on a plane to Spain to join my European team, Lares-Waowdeals for a week training camp in the sun. I was really nervous going because I was flying to a new country to stay with people whom I'd never really met before! But besides some language barriers, I had an amazing time! The 5 other junior women on my team (3 from Belgium, 2 from the Netherlands) were so nice and set out on a mission to teach me Dutch (not an easy language to learn...). We got to stay in a fancy resort on the water with a bunch of other teams, had a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, soigneurs who gave us daily massages and experience incredible riding right from the door! Living the life of a pro, I really didn't want to come home from paradise...

However, the travel bug was kept to a minimum because 3 weeks later it was off to Milton, Ontario for Junior Track Nationals. There, I claimed 8 Gold Medals, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze. I also finally hit my long time goal of lapping the field in a Points Race- twice!

Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

Stoked on my achievements and ready for my next challenge, I jetted out immediately after racing ended to the Netherlands for the Nations Cup Junior Healthy Ageing Tour with Lares-Waowdeals. It was such an eye opening, learning experience. 120 girls started the 4 day stage race, and 70 finished. For me, this was a huge game of learning to hold position and move through a pack of that many riders. The last day, I flatted with 10km to go, chased back on, then crashed with 2km to go. However, I still finished the race and ended up 55th.

Had some more local and USA elite stage races, where I was on the podium in every single criterium and road race, with the highlight being winning Elite Provincial Road Championships! My road form has felt better than ever this year, and I'm excited to see what I can do next!

Maggie :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Masimo MightySat

When the majority of the pack in cycling can compete at the same level, winning the race comes down to the marginal gains. Before Road Worlds last year I added a new, extremely valuable tool to my collection... the MightySat Fingertip Pulse Oximeter! Now I am still pretty new to all of the science behind the functions on it, but basically what it does is measures your pulse rate, oxygen saturation, perfusion index, respiration rate and pleth variability index.

The pulse rate is pretty self explanatory; how many times your heart beats per minute. The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate will be, because more blood is pumped with each pulse; your heart is strengthened to work more efficiently :) One of the most useful measurements I found was the oxygen saturation. It is the measurement, as a percentage, of oxygen in the arterial blood. Higher levels of blood oxygen, means that more oxygen is being transported around the body, thus providing more oxygen to your muscles. Ideally, as an athlete you want the blood saturation percentage to be in between 97-100%, which means that your muscles have enough oxygen and are fully recovered. If the percentage is in the low 90s or less, your muscles haven’t had enough time to fully re-oxygenate after your last workout. Part of my routine when I was training hard at pre-camp before Worlds would be to check all of my levels in the morning, which helped reassure me that I had properly recovered from the previous days training, and that I was good to go for the day. Using this knowledge, of course along with how my legs and body were feeling, allowed me to maximise each days training endeavours.
Finding out that my legs were pretty much always 98/99% leading up to Worlds also really helped me mentally, finding more confidence and reassurance in the fact that I was in prime race form and ready to take on the world!
Got the essentials for a successive day! 

The perfusion index is used to measure peripheral blood flow, which is how much blood is flowing to your fingers and toes. Less blood flow = colder fingers. There is no “normal” ratio for the PI, so it is a matter of finding out what the normal ratio is for you, then keeping track of any changes and how they correlate with changes to the other measurements. The respiration rate is how many breaths you take per minute, and like the pulse rate, can fluctuate up and down more quickly for people with higher levels of fitness. It is important to know this and find out how to influence how many breaths you take per minute because when you get nervous before a race, for example, you breathe shorter, hyperventilating breaths which inhibits the amount of oxygen that goes to your key muscles like your brain and legs! Fun fact, people take 12-20 breaths per minute at rest. Lastly, the pleth variability index is the change in blood flow to your fingers (your perfusion index) in one breathing cycle.

Being more aware of what is going on inside my body has inspired me to find ways to influence the levels to improve performance. Breathing exercises became a big part of my morning routines as well. Increasing my lung capacity so I could be more efficient with absorbing oxygen during races, and control my anxiety before competitions as well as and watching how the breathing exercises influenced the blood oxygen levels and heart rate gave me some extra marginal gains to focus on utilising.

Morning routines :)

Thanks Dotsie Bausch and Masimo for introducing me to this invaluable tool, and I look forward to continuing to learn about it and use it to make this year a great year of racing!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Happy 2017!

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a good holiday season and a great start to 2017! I am writing to you from school, where I am sitting at the window watching people slip on the dreaded 4 inches of ice outside, and stressing about online calculus because the WiFi is down! All negatives aside, here is a summary of my fairly chill past 2 months :)

After a successful Junior Road World Championships in Qatar, I took 7 weeks off the bike and decided to not go to Cyclocross Nationals because I was in dire need of a mental and physical break. I still went to the gym, did lots of yoga and TRX and rode my horse, Elmo to try and avoid going stir crazy! However, coming off of an amazing season and the “racing high,” then that shift back into reality, along with time off the bike is very mentally tough. Those first couple of weeks that I was off I was in a super strange headspace and would have these random meltdowns at school and the gym. Yoga was a huge asset for me then, because of the mental relaxation and all of the balance and stability in life it preaches.

December 1st, training officially started again, but I eased back into it with some time on the track and trainer as well as a new gym program. Conveniently, around the time when I was going to get out on the road bike Vancouver got its first real snow in many years! Which then froze... and is only melting now. I probably sound pathetic compared to the rest of Canada, but -5 to -15 is cold! That meant more time spent inside over the break :/

The winter break brought with it lots of family and Christmassy stuff and some nice downtime where I had no regrets about being lazy! Then came a pretty chill New Years Eve and shortly after (well, 2 day to be exact), January 2nd, where my dad/coach and I sat down and looked at my next few months and discussed how my training would go. Back to the grind, and there’s nothing I want more than to be back on the bike!

Some very exciting stuff in store for 2017! Over the Christmas break, I signed my first team contract to race with the Belgian UCI Women’s development program, Lares-Waowdeals. I am so honoured to be a part of this team, along with 5 other junior women and, on the elite team, Thalita de Jong! (2016 Elite Women Cyclocross World Champion).

I am also excited to share that I will be racing North American races with the team who gave me so much incredible support last year, TaG Cycling Race Team! Stoked for some awesome team trips with the squad again this year. :)

First up is a training camp in Spain with Lares-Waowdeals, then a full road season with TaG. Following Road Nationals, I am going to move to Belgium for the summer and fall and race with Lares-Waowdeals. My goals for this year include a gold medal in the new omnium at Junior Track Worlds, a podium at Junior Road Worlds and win a European race!

I would like to say a big thank you for all of the support in 2016, and would like to welcome some new sponsors on board to help me with my journey in 2017! Thank you Local Ride Racing, TaG Cycling Race Team, Lares-Waowdeals, Cycling Canada, CODE Sports, Power2Max, Masimo, ISM, Podium Sports, Epoch Analytical, Cycles Lambert, Vision Wheels, Orange Sport, Born SportsCare, Bont Cycling.

-Maggie :)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Junior Road World Championships 2016

On another flight home from my third World Championship this year, and bored with homework so time for a little blogging :)! In January, I competed in the U23 Cyclocross World Champs in Zolder, Belgium, then I won a bronze medal at the Junior Track World Champs in Aigle, Switzerland in July, and I am now returning from competing in the Junior Road World Champs in Doha Qatar. It's been a busy year!

"It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll!"

After receiving the confirmation that I was going to Road Worlds just over 2 weeks before I left, I quickly had to organise my next month. I was only back at school for about a week before I flew out, and have been gone for almost a month! Before heading to Qatar, the junior women squad spent 2 weeks in Belgium, training and racing. The four junior women who were selected were the same girls who went to Junior Track Worlds- Erin Attwell, Devaney Collier, Laurie Jussaume and me, of course! This made it really easy to pick up where we left off, and we already knew how to live together, so it made for a fun, smooth pre-camp. We had a solid couple of weeks of training around Canada’s base in Tielt-Winge, Belgium. The one downside of Belgium was that the temperature only reached a high of 20 degrees for a couple of days, and would drop as low as 5 degrees, which wasn’t ideal preparing for a 35+ degree race! To help simulate the heat a bit I trained in as many layers of clothing that I had and we also went and spent some time in a 50 degree sauna!

The squad: Laurie Jussaume, me, Erin Attwell, Devaney Collier

While we were in Belgium, we did 3 kermesse races (1 junior race, 2 elite women’s races). Kermesses are like high speed road races, and usually take place on a 6-10km course and can be anywhere from around 60-100km. Some of them even have prime laps, like a crit. The first one we did was the junior race, and there were around 60 junior/u17 women racing! This was the biggest junior field I had ever raced in, and was by far the most aggressive race I had ever done! The girls over in Europe were absolutely ruthless, and there would be lots of bumping and pushing to maintain your place at the front of the race, as well as you had to watch that you weren’t pushed into a ditch or the cracks in the road! We averaged about 38km/h and there were prime laps every second lap. I won 2 primes, and managed to stay top 10 for the whole race, until I lost positioning at the end. I ended up 13th in the final sprint, and had so much fun that I could not wait to race again the following day! The next day, we had to get special permission to race the elite women’s race, because juniors aren’t allowed to race on school days in Belgium. This race wasn’t quite as aggressive as the junior race, and I managed to stay in good positioning, but cramped up towards the end of the race, so didn’t have a great sprint. The next weekend, we did our last elite women’s kermesse and experienced every single kind of weather that day. Started with sun, then it started raining, accompanied by a thunder and lightning storm, with hail and wind. The road started flooding at one point and I could barely see anything! However, the rain just reminded me of home, so I raced even harder. For most of the race, there was a break up the road and I was active on the front trying to chase it down and going with breaks. At the line we were only about 200m off of the break but didn’t quite catch them in time! I was very proud of how I raced this race, and even better, I didn’t cramp up! Bad cramping in my legs has been something I have been suffering with this road season and have been trying many different solutions, such as more electrolytes, drinking enough water, extra potassium and magnesium and adding salt to my food to try and resolve the cramping before Doha.

Front line start of the 2nd kermesse :)

On October 7th we hopped on another flight over to Doha, Qatar. Devaney and I were only racing the road race so we had a full week to acclimatise as best as we could to the extreme heat. I had never experienced heat over 35 degrees Celsius before, so it was a bit of a shock when some of our training days hit highs of around 43 degrees Celsius! I was drinking around 6 bottles for a 2hr ride to stay hydrated! The situation was perfect though- we would wake up, go eat at a buffet that literally had everything (it was really hard to ignore all of the pancakes and pastries, although I managed to avoid them until after the race!), then after breakfast we would go ride (usually the juniors and elite riders would ride together, which gave us a great opportunity to get as much advice from the elites as possible!). After the ride, we had a buffet lunch, spent time at the pool, had a massage, then a buffet dinner! We were living the life! It was perfect. Going into the race, I was the most relaxed that I had ever been!

Swallowed by The Oyster
Photo-op on a recovery ride in Doha :)

The night before race day, we had a junior conference where I got to hear Eddy and Axel Mercx talk, along with the head of road UCI. My evening was then perfect, because I got to meet and take selfies with pro-riders Tiffany Cromwell, Elia Viviani and Marcel Kittel (who even liked the selfie I posted!!).

Selfies with Marcel Kittel, Tiffany Cromwell and  Elia Viviani!!!

It was a little cooler on race day, because we started at 8:30 am, and it only reached a high of 35 degrees that day. We warmed up, signed on as a team up on a stage and stayed cool until the last possible minute, using ice packs and maximizing the shade. I knew the start was going to be hard and fast, and that because call up was based off of countries UCI points, we didn’t have a lot so Canada started towards the back of the 81 riders. As soon as I could, I pushed myself as far up as possible to hope for a better start. Whistle blew, everyone took off and right away around the second round-a-bout, a girl went down in front of me and I kind of tumbled off my bike. I got back up as quickly as possible, did a cyclocross remount and chased down the pack. As soon as I got back on, 10-15 girls crashed again in front of me and I grabbed my brakes, screeched to a halt and managed to stay upright! Then I had to chase back on again, and finally reached the lead group shortly before the finish line.

Crash in the first kilometre of the race :/ oops!

We had a total of 5 laps to do of the 15km course and there were two feed zones, as well as a neutral feed car at the back of the race. By the time we came around to the second feed zone, I was ready for a feed, having almost finished both bottles. However, it was a mess! There were bottles being thrown everywhere and rolling out into the road, and girls attacking to the front to get a better spot to feed. My hand slipped on the bottle, and to my dismay, I missed that one. By this time, the water left in my bottles was pretty warm, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my good positioning in the top 10-15 riders to go back to the neutral car. The next time we came around to the feed zone I was in great positioning and set to grab a bottle but another countries soigneur was trying to feed an athlete from almost the middle of the road, and I ended up body checking her as I didn’t have enough space to get past! It kind of hurt, but I stayed upright and recovered in time to grab an ice cold bottle with (thank gosh!) a bag of ice attached, that I put down the back of my jersey. Staying in the top part of the group, I was able to follow breaks and had some more control of the race. I knew who to watch, and stayed near the right wheels with 2 laps to go. Despite all the effort I had put in before the race to avoid cramping, with 2.5 laps to go, the muscles in my legs started knotting but I tried to ignore it. As we got down to the final countdown, the riders got even more aggressive and there was yelling and elbow bumping and some very close calls with crashing! With 3 km to go, I was in the top 7 and jumping from one countries train to the next. But I wasn’t quite aware enough, because in the last corner I missed the rush of riders who came up on the inside, and ended up getting boxed in and had to fight my way out. Cramping legs and all, I managed to cross the line in 14th place, which wasn’t the result I was hoping for but taking into account all the obstacles I had, I was proud of how I raced! My first thought when I crossed the finish line was “All I want right now is to go do more racing in Europe!”. Congrats to my teammates for all racing a solid race; we’ll get it next year!

The next couple of days in Qatar, I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the buffet and the pool, got to watch the pro men and women’s race and even better, I got to meet Marianne Vos! She has been my idol for the longest time- the way she has found success in multiple disciplines of cycling- and it was a very surreal moment! We got to check out a market, swim in the Persian Gulf and experience a bit more of the Middle Eastern culture before leaving Qatar, which was so cool (and the Gulf was so incredibly warm and salty :’)! To top it off, when were standing in the airport security line, who was in line in front of us? None other than Marianne Vos!

Meeting my idol Marianne Vos!!

This concludes my 2016 road season, and now it’s time to ramp it up for Cross Nationals in 3 weeks!

The Team :)

Thank you so much to TaG Race Team, Epoch Analytical, Power2Max, BORN Sportscare, Obsession Bikes, SCOTT bikes, CODE Sports, Turbine, Masimo MightySat, Catlike, Cycles Lambert, Podium Imports and ISM Saddles, Neil Davies with Jubilee Cycle, Richard Wooles, Local Ride Racing, Cycling Canada and the Hamilton Foundation for the project, and of course my incredibly supportive family, coach/dad and friends for helping me make this an amazing year on the bike!!

-Maggie :)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Junior Track World Championships 2016

5 weeks away from home, 3 different beds, 3 crashes, National and World class racing, 12 amazing teammates and probably most impressively, a bronze medal in the women’s omnium at Junior Track World Championships!

After Nationals, me, Erin, Cam Fitzmaurice and John Willcox piled into a car with our bikes and drove 5 hours to Milton, Ontario, where the next 2 weeks were spent training at the 250m velodrome. The training was intense, with usually two sessions a day and included some longer road rides to keep the endurance up. As well, we did lots of team pursuit work on the track to get me, Erin, Ali Vanyzendoorn, Devaney Collier and Laurie Jussaume up to speed as the first Junior Women’s team pursuit team Canada has sent to Worlds in around 4 years. We grew very close over the total of 4 weeks that we lived together, and had a blast building our relationship as teammates and friends, as not many of us knew each other too well before this. Card playing, nail painting, baking and a trip to see Finding Dory in theatres made for a fun week on and off the bike, and writing this blog, two days after I have been separated from the 4 girls, makes me miss them so much already! #teampursuitsisters4life

Junior Women's Track Endurance Team #squadgoals

Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

Towards the end of pre-camp, we got the news that we had been waiting anxiously to hear- who got to do which individual events! I was chosen for the omnium and was beyond thrilled with it! 2 days before we flew over to Switzerland, I crashed during one of our team pursuit efforts and spent the next few days pulling slivers out of my leg. Even though it wasn’t a bad crash, that and the feeling of heavy legs in the days leading up to Worlds had me worried... would I actually be feeling ok when it came time to race? But the coaches and older athletes kept reminding us to trust the taper (shorter efforts and rides to recover and freshen up before race day)! All of the pieces would come together when it came time to start competition.

Anddd off on another flight, stuck between my two TaG teammates (John and Cam), to beautiful Switzerland! Our team house was situated up in the Alps and was a ski chalet that comfortably slept all 12 athletes and 5 coaches and best of all, had a dumbwaiter from the kitchen up to the dining room!

View from my bedroom window in Switzerland!

First impressions of the UCI headquarters track in Aigle, Switzerland- it felt very sketchy and took some time for me to feel out the rights lines. It was a 200m track, like the one I train on in BC, but didn’t feel anything like what I was used to. This track was more of a circle, so the straight aways were shorter, which meant you HAD to be near the front when it came time for the sprints. Oh, it’s also made out of some rare variety of pine wood and the temperature was almost always above 30 degrees, which made for a sweaty warm up and a 15 minute process to wriggle into the skinsuits afterwards. And my first impression of the atmosphere left me quite awed, watching 40 + different countries come and go, and having a Russian rider wink at me on the first day!

Our first race day was just one ride for the Team Pursuit qualifier. It’s amazing how tired you can be after a 4 min and 38 sec effort! Anyways, that was the time we had talked about getting and we rode a flawless ride to get it (our best time, a Canadian record), and qualified 4th! Ali killed it in the points race that night, despite a crash in the qualifier!

Smiles for daysss!
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

The next day, we woke up, did a 7 am roller spin surrounded by the rising sun on the Alps, then headed to the race to do the semi-finals in the morning and the finals in the afternoon. In the semis, France did a 4:36, which moved them up to qualify 3rd, and we broke our own Canadian record with a 4:37, which kept us in 4th. Nerves super high, but also with the reassurance that the worst that could happen was that we would end up 4th in the World, we went into the ride for bronze against France. And France crushed it! We held our team together, but with 5 laps to go, France came storming around us, and the gun went off. Fourth in the World for Junior Women’s team pursuit, still not bad!

Looking tight in the Bronze medal ride!
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

Day off with a roller spin and my teammates almost dumping a bucket of water on me from the deck (thank gosh I had just gotten off the rollers!), then time to shine as an individual in the omnium!

All smiles, as per usual! :)
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

My first race up was the 50 lap Points Race qualifier, and would give me my first taste of what the racing would feel like. I went into it with an idea of who to watch, and the reassurance that as long as I got 8 points early on, then watched for girls who were going to lap the field, I would probably qualify. So, I raced a typical Maggie race, being upfront and aggressive and going into it with a smile on my face! I kept one eye on my coach, who was giving me instructions during the race and one eye on the big screen, showing the point count for the audience. An insanely aggressive race, and I qualified second!

Feeling out the competition, and racing aggressively :D
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

About an hour later, the first race of the omnium started... the scratch race! It was a race where whenever the group sat up, you had to watch because immediately someone else would attack. Everybody was testing out the others abilities and strengths, to get an idea for the following 5 races. Going into the last lap of the scratch race, I could of had better positioning to go for a top 3 placing. Coming around the last corner, I noticed that the rider in front of me seemed to be a little sketchy, but I didn’t have enough time to come around her before, out of the blue, she crashed 15 meters from the line! My fate was sealed, and I supermaned over her and, still clipped in, slide across the line with my bike to a 5th place finish! You get a placing based on when your bike crosses the line, so I would of gotten 3rd place, but my bike was behind me. -_-  I spent the next bit in medical, getting splinters pulled out of my back!

Taking the "bike throw" to new extremes in the Scratch Race

Next up, I rode to a 7th place in the Individual Pursuit. The times were so fast this year! Last year, my time of 2:26.3 seconds would of gotten me 1st or 2nd! But still, it was a Canadian record and a personal best by over 2 seconds.

I then had the honour of watching Canadian teammate, Stefan Ritter, ride to a gold medal in the Junior men’s Kilo, before I had to start warming up for the elimination!

Going into the Elimination, I had my mind set on the win, because I was determined to finish the day sitting 3rd in the omnium! I remembered back to my first National Championships, were I won my first Elimination, and afterwards, one of the National Team Elite women had told me that I was going to be one of the best Elimination racers in Canada. Even though I was pretty young, I believed her and I held those words with me, going into this race and convinced myself that I was the best Elimination rider! I rode it textbook style, with only one or two close calls, always being near or on the front. At one point, a Russian rider came around me on the sprint lap, but dropped down right in front of me in the sprinters line, so was pulled despite me being the last rider across the line! It came down to a sprint finish between me and the Italian rider, which I took at the line, and won the race! It was such a great feeling and boosted my confidence going into the final 3 races!

Winning the Elimination!
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

A bit happy after the Elimination ;)
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

A good nights sleep, and packing up the house, then back to the track for the last day of racing and the last day with the team :(

The day opened with the 500m time trial, not my best event. I still pulled off a 7th place and a Canadian record, but also the realisation that I needed to do more work on standing starts! Next up was one of the events I was most nervous and excited for... the Flying Lap (200m)! Going into Worlds, I had put down some very sad, slow times and also hadn’t practised the line on this track a lot. The coaches just instructed me to watch the guys flying 200’s and trust the taper, and that everything would work out ok! And of course, they were right! I flew into it and almost fell off my bike in shock when I looked up at the board afterwards and saw 11.5 seconds! A new Junior women's Canadian record, 7/10ths faster than my previous personal best and second place for the event!

11.5 sec in the Flying 200m!
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

I went into the final event, the 100 lap Points Race, sitting in the bronze medal position and 6 points out of silver. It was time to pull out all of the cards, and race as hard as possible, continually reminding myself that after this race, I could rest! I got a few points early on, but then was bumped down to 4th by the Russian rider. A few laps later, I hooked bars with a rider up track, and went down, collecting a few more slivers. As soon as I hit the ground, our mechanic and coach were over there, checking out my bike and getting me up off the ground so that I could get back in the race in time for the next sprint, which was happening in 2 laps (I could of taken a max of 6 laps to get back in the race). So, bruised and bleeding a bit, I got back on track but didn’t quite make it to the front in time for that sprint. With 3 sprints to go, I pushed myself harder than I ever have to bridge to dangerous attacks, and win as many sprints as possible. I finished the race with a bronze medal in the omnium and only 4 points out of silver!

Michaela Drummond (NZ), Elise Balsamo (ITALY), Me :)
Photo credits: Michel Guillemette

Coming off the track, I had to change before podium because my skin suit was black from track burn and ripped. Only then did I notice a giant piece of wood pretty deep in my thigh, but I wouldn’t let medical remove it right away, in case I missed the podium! ;p

Souvenir from the track in Switzerland!
Photo credits: Linda Berger

Junior Track World Championships was such an incredible experience, where I encountered the most aggressive, exciting junior women’s racing ever and got to know some amazing people!

Miss the crew so much <3
Photo credits: Linda Berger

I would like to say such a huge thank you to so many people who supported me, both through messages during the racing and helping me fund this trip! Thank you so much to TaG Race Team, Epoch Analytical, Power2Max, BORN Sportscare, Obsession Bikes, SCOTT bikes, CODE Sports, Turbine, Masimo MightySat, Catlike, Cycles Lambert, Podium Imports and ISM Saddles, Neil Davies with Jubilee Cycle, Richard Wooles, Local Ride Racing, Cycling Canada for the project, and of course my incredibly supportive family, coach/dad and friends!!

Oh Canada :D 
-Maggie :)