Stevens women kick off 2014 season

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The Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery team welcomes its newest member, Emily Flynn (back row, third from right).

The Stevens Racing Presented By The Cyclery women’s team kicked off the 2014 season with the traditional fall get-together in Gatineau.

Besides braving the cold and wet weather for some group rides, the returning members of the team welcomed the newest addition for 2014, Emily Flynn of Ottawa. Flynn, 20, joins Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery from the local West Quebec Wheelers club. A former mountain biker, she switched to road racing for the 2013 season and was selected to represent Ontario at the Canada Summer Games.

“I’m super excited,” said Flynn of joining the Stevens team “It’ll be the first year I’m actually on a team and I get to race with a bunch of great girls. I can learn from them and learn the tactics of bike racing.”

A look back at 2013

The Stevens p/b The Cyclery team enjoyed a banner 2013 season, exceeding even the management’s expectations. From the beginning of the season one of the big goals of the program was to qualify as many athletes as possible for the Canada Games in Sherbrooke Quebec. They were the biggest multi-sport games held in the province of Quebec since the 1976 Olympics. The team not only qualified two athletes, but both those athletes went on to each medal twice at the Games!

The double gold-medal performance of Annie Foreman-Mackey and Adriane Provost’s two silver medals mark a significant milestone for the program. The goal of the team the last two seasons has been to create a development pathway for athletes to progress from the junior and provincial ranks to the professional and international stage- and these medals are proof that our riders are amongst the best of their peers in Canada!

It is hard to pick out the biggest successes of the year but some of the other most memorable results are:

  • Annie’s bronze medal at the U23 National Championships in the Time Trial
  • Our team’s only Junior Ariane Bonhomme finishing 3rd in the Time Trial at Nationals, winning the team time trial at the Pan-American Junior Championships and representing Canada at the World Junior Track Cycling Championships.
  • Two top-five performances by Catherine Dessureault at BC Super Week.

That doesn’t even begin to take into account the over a dozen races that the team won, including the Ontario Provincial Road Championships and Quebec Criterium Championships. Or the experience that comes from racing in both North American UCI events at Gatineau and Philadelphia. The trip out to BC Super Week was bar-raising and exposed the team to a higher level of racing than they would get at home. They found themselves in 60-rider fields with three top North American professional teams in attendance. They stepped up to the challenge – of the seven athletes the team brought out, five finished in the top-10 at one point or another, and all returned stronger racers.

Annie was selected to compete at the Jeux de La Francophonie in Nice, and experienced her first European racing, while other members of the team competed at (and won medals at) National Track Championships.

The management is attempting to make the team’s development activities congruent with Canadian Cycling’s long term vision for road and track integration.

All of these results and riders being selected are signs that we are headed in the right direction.

What is in store for 2014?

In short: more of the same. We will continuing to work to provide the team members with material and logistical support and to give them exposure to higher calibre racing. Racing that will help these riders take the incremental steps along the way to their long term dreams.

Bike racing is a sport of years- it takes continuous effort over time to make the improvements needed to be top flight international riders. The cycling world is beginning to embrace professional women’s racing- with discussions of a women’s Tour de France in coming years. But right now there is a hole in Women’s development in Canada as riders have no clear pathway into the international ranks.

To fill this gap we will need the support of the local community more than ever before. We would like to invite companies and organisations to partner with us on this journey in sporting development. So that someday those riders in the Women’s Tour de France might just be Stevens Alumni.

STEVENS RACING P/B THE CYCLERY 2013 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gold – Canada Sumer Games Time Trial- Annie Foreman-Mackey
  • Gold- Canada Sumer Games Criterium – Annie Foreman-Mackey
  • Silver- Canada Sumer Games Road Race – Adriane Provost
  • Silver – Canada Sumer Games Criterium –Adriane Provost
  • Bronze – Canadian National Championships u23 TT – Annie Foreman-Mackey
  • Bronze – Canadian National Championships Junior TT – Arianne Bonhomme
  • Bronze – Canadian National Championships Points Race – Catherine Dessureault
  • 1st Place- Quebec Criterium Championships – Adriane Provost (defended Evelene Gagnon’s 2012 title)
  • 1st Place – Ontario Road Race Championships – Annie Foreman Mackey
  • 1st Place – Tour de Quebec GC, Stages 1 &2 –Adriane Provost
  • 1st Place – St. Martine – Audrey Bernard
  • 1st Place- Brossard Criterium- Catherine Dessureault
  • 1st Place – Preston St. Criterium – Annie Foreman-Mackey
  • 1st Place- GP Charlevoix GC – Ariane Bonhomme
  • 1st Place – Springbank Road Race- Annie Foreman- Mackey

NATIONAL TEAM SELECTIONS:

  • Junior Pan-Am Championships, Junior World Track Championships- Ariane Bonhomme-
  • Jeux de Francophonie, Lotto-Belisol Tour – Annie Forman-Mackey

PROVINCIAL TEAM SELECTIONS:

  • Canada Games- Annie Forman-Mackey (Ontario), Adriane Provost (Quebec)
  • Road Nationals- Evelyn Gagnon, Adriane Provost, Arianne Bonhomme (Quebec) Annie Foreman-Mackey (Ontario)
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