Following a hectic couple of months for many of our riders, we decided to get Leah Kirchmann’s take on how her strategy, team and future goals affected her recent success. Coming off a huge 3rd place finish with double stage wins and a sprint jersey at the Tour of California, she’s managed to surpass the prior high bar she set with the stage win at Joe Martin. Here’s what she had to say:


Q: You had what some might call a slower start to the season results wise racing overseas but now seem to really have hit your stride.  Was this the plan all along?

A: Last year, I started the season absolutely flying, but ended up being pretty tired and not performing as well by the end of the year. My coach and I planned a slower start to this season to ensure an ideal build up towards the World Championships in Richmond which are a major goal for the season. 

Q: It seems like all the Canadian women on Optum (including BTG riders Annie Ewart and Lex Albretch) are having great years so far.  What’s it like riding as a Canadian on an American squad?

A: Optum is such an incredible team and they have a long history of supporting Canadian riders. We have such a great mix of nationalities and personalities that make travel and racing very entertaining. It’s great to have so many different team riders, such as Annie and Lex achieving significant results, it demonstrates the depth of talent on our team. 

Q: What’s coming up for you in terms of racing?  What are some of the big goals for the rest of the season?

A: My next racing block includes the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau, Chrono Gatineau, Philly World cup, The Women’s Tour of Britain and Canadian nationals. Big goals for the season include defending my titles at Nationals, performing at this year’s La Course in Paris, and the World Championships in Richmond.