Mid-season Yarn

With school done for the year, I jumped straight into the deep end of racing. Just hours after my final engineering exam of the year, I flew out to Vancouver for a couple of days to take part in a weekend of racing in the cold and wet. This trip was followed by my first major event of the year, the An Post Ras with the Canadian National team.

The Ras is a UCI 2.2 stage race that tours nearly the entirety of Ireland. It takes place over 8 days of road racing, and covers nearly 1200 km. I travelled to Belgium on May 8th where I was able to adapt to the time change at the national team house. After a weekend of racing some local Kermesses (a circuit race, usually 120km long), I was joined by fellow National Team and Bridge the Gap members Garrett McLeod, Alex Cataford, and Stuart Wight.

After spending a week or so in Belgium, we travelled to Dublin, Ireland where we were joined by national team teammate Remi Pelletier-Roy. Racing began on May 19th, and featured a few flat days early on, as well as some major climbs in the later stages. Stage 4 and stage 7 were notably hilly days, with over 8 categorized climbs each day, including some incredibly tough cat 1 climbs. The team worked extremely well together, and in the end we were able to have Remi take 5th on GC as well as a 2nd place finish on stage 4. I was able to support the team, as well as sprint to an 8th place on stage 3. I also rode the break until the 100km mark on stage 7, until our group was caught by the main pack. It was an awesome experience to take part in this race. I can’t wait until I get to go back.

After flying home to Calgary, I headed to Victoria for the Victoria Cycling Festival, which took place the weekend after returning from Europe. This race included the BC provincial road race, and the Bastion Square Criterium. I was able to sprint to a 4th place finish in the crit, narrowly missing the podium.

Currently, I am in Canmore, AB, preparing for the Banff Bike Fest, which features five stages that wind through some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada. Not only is the victory on the line for this race, but it is also a selection race. The top Alberta U23 on GC will be offered a spot to compete at the Tour of Alberta (UCI 2.1) with the continental team SmartStop presented by Mountain Khakis. I really hope to be able to achieve this spot and compete in the Tour of Alberta with some of the top professional cyclists in the world.

I am really looking forward to the rest of the season. Up next will be the Canadian National Championships, followed by BC Superweek, and the Gastown Grand Prix about a week after Nationals. I hope to podium in the U23 National Time Trial, as well as podium at BC Superweek. Last year I was able to achieve an 8th place finish in the Gastown Grand Prix, and I hope to hit the top step of the podium this year.

A huge thanks to Global Relay’s Bridge the Gap Fund as well as my team, Team H&R BLOCK. I’m looking forward to an awesome race season.