After some long training weeks and rigorous sessions leading up for some back-to-back race weekends, I was feeling ready for rounds 5 and 6 of the Canada Cup series, with National Championships, and Canada Cup Finals taking place the weekend after. Following a long car ride through the smokey twist and turns of the Canada Rockies on the way to Alberta, 11 hours on the road later, we arrived at our hotel and could rest for the night. I got some track time the next day, where I unfortunately had a small crash at the beginning of the session with such a small mistake getting the better of me. I over shot to almost flat over the first pro jump in the second straight, and then tried to pull brakes after to just roll the next jump, and I couldn’t slow down enough and hit the eject button and wound up falling into the face of the landing of the second jump, and my bike took a good smack. After dusting myself off and truing my back wheel, I got back out on the track and found my lines and got my confidence back up. I knew that I wouldn’t let something like that get the best of me for the day.
Day 1 of racing started off with some heavy wind and some delays after a rain storm occurring the night before, which left the track very soft. The first straight felt like we were riding into a wall of wind and coming over the pro section it gave us an interesting side wind. First moto went fast with having to make up some ground on the third straight passing on the outside before the third turn. 2nd Moto went unlucky with getting balled up in the first turn and someone unclipping right in front of me coming into the pro section. I was still able to make the main, and earn a well deserved 5th place after not getting the best of gates and drives down the first straight. I got squeezed coming over the first jump and also had to cut down changing direction mid way through the first turn to avoid 2 other riders bumping bars. Which meant my drive down the second straight wasn’t at my best and that gave another rider behind me an opportunity to go for an aggressive move on the inside of the second turn, with no intention of making a clean pass he went to put me over the turn. Luckily I was able to stay on track and on the bike and get a good few cranks in before entering the rhythm section third straight and started to gain on him by the end of the third straight. I took the last turn a little high as I was just on his outside and made a go for a pass down the last straight where I was able to create a bike length gap between him and I, at the line. Needles to say I was very stoked to come back and pass him after he tried a dirty move.
Day 2 wound up to be another great day of racing with the weather holding off, and other than the temperature dropping down to 7 degrees, it made for a great day of racing. With 8 riders signed up for Elite Men it meant we had 3 motos instead of a main. The day kicked off with some better gates and making some moves over the second straight where I was able to pass two riders coming over the pro section in the first moto, finishing with a 4th. Second moto I didn’t have the best of first straights but was able to make a pass before the third turn in the rhythm section for a 3rd place finish. It all comes down to the last moto if I wanted to be on the podium for the day, with some heavy wind rolling in just before race time for our third go around, it left many riders making adjustments or mistakes in their gates, I was luckily able to have a great gate still with the head wind and battle out another 3rd place finish and make it onto the podium for the day.
Report: Calgary National Championships & Canada Cup Finals:
After podium presentations on Sunday in St. Albert, it was time to pack up and make our way to Calgary for the week in preparation for National Championships and the Canada Cup finals. First few days of practice I still felt tired from the weekend of racing but, was able to get some solid time on the track trying different lines. I felt good coming into the race weekend for the most part, a little tired during some of the practice sessions and the wind picked up one of the days which made for an interesting session. Saturday race day started off quick for National championships, getting a great gate for the first round gave me a good drive over the first and second jump battling for 4th, but a bobble over the triple meant I had to cut inside in the first turn and meant that coming over the pro section I didn’t have a great drive, which a small mistake popping off the lip of the first pro jump taking it a little too high and a little long, over shooting the backside, meant I lost a bit of ground. But coming around the second turn I was able to dive to the inside of the third straight a make a pass down the long and technical rhythm section.
Second moto I didn’t have a the greatest of first straights but was able to gain on the rider in 4th all over the track and coming down the last straight I made a push for the line but it wasn’t enough, and had to settle for a 5th in that round. On to the third round I had a better start but didn’t get the second jump the way I wanted to while another rider was moving over on me but, I was able to re group from 6th and pass one rider in the first turn and then make another pass for 4th over the pro section coming into the second turn and it was an all out drag race for the two of us coming down the third straight which I was able to hold on to a 4th for the third round. Rounding off the day placing 4th for National Championships this year was a good result, some mistakes were made but I was happy overall with how the day went.
Day 2: Canada Cup Finals
This was the last round of the Canada Cup series, starting us off right away for the race action Sunday morning! Coming into the day I felt very flat from the previous race day, after the drag races between myself and another rider down the third straight drained a lot of my energy. First two motos I didn’t have the best of starts or drives down the first straight, with my energy levels low I managed a 4th in the first moto and a 3rd in the second. Coming down to the last round I was able to go from 5th to 3rd passing two riders over the pro section holding on for another third place finish. Ending off the day with a 3rd place for the last round of the Canada Cup put me into third place for the series points. It was great to finish off the weekend on the podium for both the day, and for the series! Being able to take home a couple podiums out of the two back to back weekends was awesome! I am also happy I was able to make the long trip home healthy with some solid results.
Big thanks to my supporters my family and friends, my sponsors Crisp Brothers Racing, Mac Components, Mich Ram industries, ANSR, AME Grips, Troy and everyone at Maple Ridge Cycle, 2XU Canada, Tony McDougall at Performance Health Group, Pedaling Innovations.
Thank you to all, for everything you’ve done to help me get this far, and for helping me continue my journey forward!