Annie Foreman-Mackey was one of three Stevens – The Cyclery riders who lined up for the Chrono Gatineau international time trial on June 6. Here’s Annie’s take on the day’s racing:
Ellen Watters, Ariane Bonhomme and I had the opportunity to represent Stevens – The Cyclery at the Chrono Gatineau UCI Individual Time Trial this past Friday. The 51-rider startlist included some strong riders from international teams such as Optum, TIBCO and Specialized-Lululemon. After travelling for most races, it was a welcome change to be able to ride to the race course from our houses and sleep in our own beds. It’s not often that we get the opportunity to race a UCI race right in our backyard!
The course was a technical 11.5-km loop with everything from a bike path, wide-open highway, roundabouts, several 180-degree turnarounds, and ramps onto and off of boulevard des Allumettières. Chris Reid led Ellen, Ariane and me on a couple of solid pre-rides before race day and we were each able to come up with a game plan for our rides. I generally like starting a TT in what I call “easy speed” as a protective mechanism against going out too fast. Due to the shorter nature of the course, however, I shifted my approach slightly and started out a bit harder and hoped that I could hold on until the finish.
As the fourth starter of the day, I was able to go out and truly race my own race without knowledge of anyone else’s finishing times. I came back with an empty tank and sensed that I had ridden a solid, but not yet perfect, ride. There is definitely still room for improvement, but I’m pretty darn happy with a 5th place! Ellen and Ariane both had AWESOME rides – Ellen finishing 9th in the strong field, and Ariane showing that she is quickly bouncing back from some early season hiccups. An added plus was Ellen and I both picking up our first UCI points (one of my goals for this year!).
Overall, it was a great day for Stevens – The Cyclery. I think that Chris said it best: “I believed they could do it. That they went out and did it is another matter.” We may be a small group of developing riders, but sometimes that little bit of extra belief in one another is what is needed to help everyone rise to new levels. The “little-Ottawa-Team-that-could” is building momentum and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this incredible team.