Stevens – The Cyclery women just completed nine days of racing at BC Superweek.
Carrie Cartmill reports from the final event of the series: the Tour de White Rock.
The Tour de White Rock is a three race series with a 700 m hill climb, a downtown criterium and a road race that follows the ocean coast. Despite the stunning ocean views in White Rock, the Stevens – The Cyclery women’s team has had its eyes focused on the road. While the majority of Superweek features fast flat criterium courses, Whiterock offers a special treat in the way of vertical ocean-side cliffs. It is always a personal disappointment to me that the climbs of White Rock take place at the very end of BC Superweek when the legs are sprint-worn and the spirit is beginning to sag (just a little of course).
Stage 1 – Homelife Realty Hill Climb
Friday, July 11
The hill climb stage of the Tour de White Rock consists of a steep, 700 m climb that is tackled in heats of two riders. The five riders with the best times up the first climb move onto a final heat to determine the winner of the stage. Despite putting in some personal best hill climbs, none of the Stevens-The Cyclery riders were able to make it into the final round. They didn’t let that stop them from crafting a creative plan for the following day’s criterium.
Stage 2 – Choices Market Criterium
Saturday, July 12
With many of the bigger teams sending riders south of the border, some of the strongest criterium riders in the field were left without teammates to help deliver them to the line. The Stevens – The Cyclery women started the race with a plan of racing aggressively and trying to get a break to stick. Amélie Bruneau was active in working the front right from the gun. Halfway through the race Annie Foreman-Mackey went for a flyer and was allowed to get a few laps in before several of the stronger riders closed the gap. At this point, I launched an attack and was also allowed to get quite a gap, although I was eventually reeled in as well. The pack seemed content to let us ride off the front and waste our energy, but didn’t want to work a break with any of us. The highlight of the day was the prime that Ellen won while closing in on the final laps!
Stage 3 – Peace Arch News Road Race
Sunday, July 13
The last race of BC Superweek headed out on the most scenic road race of the series, featuring 8 laps of a figure-eight loop that brushes up against the Pacific Ocean. Each lap featured two solid climbs. Half way through the race, the omnium leader got up the road by herself. In a demonstration of amazing teamwork, Ellen helped chase so that Carrie could stay with the front group with the next attack up the hill. Another top ten finish for the Stevens-The Cyclery women!