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Monday, June 27, 2011

Bear Mountain -BC Cup #2

Last weekend the 2nd BC Cup race of the year took place in Mission, BC at Bear Mt. on June 19th.  This is a super fun course and usually really fast; however the rainy weekend certainly made it tough to break the course record put up by Steve Smith many years ago.  Despite all the rain, spirits remained high and there was a great buzz trhoughout the whole weekend!
 A very muddy, but super fun course!

Me, coach Cory Leclerc, and Kelsey Begg enjoying the rain.
Practice was great and I was starting to feel "like one" with my new V10!  This race was a perfect opportunity to get a feel for the new bike, and dial in my suspension in preparation for the upcoming Canada Cup.  I had a ton o fun racing at Bear Mountain, and ended up placing 3rd.  Catherine Short took first and Gabby Malloy 2nd, to round out the top three pro-women.  I was pumped to see two good buddies, Jeff Bryson and Adriano Digiacinto (Bryson Racing clan) kill it, coming first and third respectively in pro-men.

      
A before and after shot

Practice day
Instead of champagne on the podium, Bear Mountain has a long standing tradition of throwing the winners into the near by pond, which is actually quite nasty... and this year was no different.  Lauren Rosser (Jr. Women's winner) put up a good fight though and ended up taking her attacker in with her; Way to represent Lauren!

Pro-Women's podium
There wasn't much time for celebrating after this one though... two days later I headed back out east to Quebec for the second Canada Cup and the World Cup! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My new baby

After much anticipation, I finally got my brand new baby!  My new Santa Cruz Cardon V10 came into the world weighing 37lbs, pimped out with Marzocchi 888 Evo-Ti forks, and Rocco World Cup shock.  What a sight to see... probably one the the most amazing looking bikes I've seen, and now my family of bikes is complete:)

My Family of Bikes
The V10 seemed to be a taller bike than I'm used to at first glance, but once I was on top it fit like a glove.  Being a short rider, I really like the small cockpit as I'm able to get a more balanced stance while riding.  First ride on the new bike was amazing and I found myself able to break later going into corners and generally ride faster with more stability and confidence.  I have a tendency to "monster truck" my way through a lot of stuff so I really did notice the difference of having an extra 2 inches of travel.

The new 888 Evo-Ti and Rocco World Cup were both great additions to my package, and have a ton of adjustability.  The forks track really well and have a good snap coming out of corners.

2011 Carbon V10
I headed to some of the rougher trails in the Whistler Bike Park to really put my new baby to the test, and I hardly noticed any gnarly roots, rocks or breaking bumps.  This bike certainly lets you get loose, without suffering all the consequences.

I'm not usually one to say that a bike can make you a better rider, but I certainly seem to have a little more confidence on trail after only a few laps.  I'm super stoked to get to race on the new bike this weekend and can't wait to become one-with-it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mont Tremblant - Canada Cup #1

The first Canada Cup race of the year took place just a couple weeks ago in Mont Tremblant, Qc.  This was my first experience racing on the eastern part of Canada and I was pumped to try out a new track. 

There was quite the turnout of riders and the weekend had a good buzz, being one of the first meetings of the year for some of Canada's top racers.  The Mont Tremblant course has been on the circuit for many years, and is challenging and longer than some of the tracks and it is full of rock gardens; it certainly tests ones fitness!


In place of the steeper terrain that I have come accustomed to here in BC, I was surprised to find several short uphill sections exiting technical rock gardens - The real challenge of this course was finding flow and keeping your momentum.

Photo: 613racing.com
Race day ran smoothly and it was great to get another race under my belt and gain the experience of racing out east on a totaly differnt style of track. Despite a crash I had in the first half of the course, I ended up coming out with a 6th place finish in pro-women. 

Photo: 613racing.com
Fellow CCN rider Danice Uyesugi ended up riding her way to a 4th place finish.  Lauren Rosser (jr. women) posted the fastest overall women's time of the day and Miranda Miller was the fastest of the pro-ladies.  On the men's side it was Andrew Mitchell, Dean Tennant and Yann Gauvin who rounded out the top three.  I was pumped for my good buddy Jeff Bryson (Brayson Racing Clan) for rocking his way to a 7th place finish.

All in all it was a great weekend and a good lead up to some bigger races soon to come!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jackal-licious

I recently received my new Santa Cruz Jackal in the mail and was able to get out and take it for a spin at one of the pump tracks in Pemberton this past weekend.  It was a great weekend to get out and play in the sunshine! 
The Jackal up close and personal


Gettin' low


The Jack is light and nimble, and handles like a dream 
Taking a break...pumping is hard work
A big thank you to Matthew Mallory for joining in on the session, and taking some photos too!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Race Season is Finally Here!

My race season finally got underway last weekend, with the first BC Cup of the year, "Race the Ranch".  The first race of the year is always like a big family get together, where you get to reunite with all your racing buds...so it's always an epic event!  There were a few familiar faces, and some new ones as well...sadly one of my racing buds from last year decided to go on a trip to Europe instead of racing this summer; Jen you will certainly be missed this season.

Photo source unknown
Gettin loose!
This year with all the off season training I'd been focusing on, I was super excited to get out on the race course and put all the gym time and drills to the test.  Practice went well, and on race day I felt pumped and ready to kick some butt...and that I did!  This race course is short, but really heavy on the pedals; by the end of my race run I was glad to have logged a bunch of time on my new XC bike in the last couple of months as I had lots of extra gas left in the tank to really hammer on the pedals in the last straight away.

Despite a couple slip ups, I came out on top in the Pro-Women's category and destroyed my time from last year by over 30 seconds!  All that hard work through the off-season definitely paid off, and I'm pumped to keep the momentum going.
Photo by Stephen Exley
Coming into the home stretch
As always, there was a super great vibe going on at the Ranch through the weekend, and it was great to see the crew from Cycles Lambert out wrenching in their new race support digs as well...Lookin good boys;)

I am now excitedly awaiting the arrival of my new Santa Cruz Carbon V10, as I'm sure I'll be shaving even more seconds off my race times with the addition of my new "super bike"!

My next race is quickly approaching, and this one is a big one, as it will go towards my national ranking and help me on the road to gaining enough UCI points to race in a World Cup Event!  On May 19th I'll embark on my journey across the country for the first Canada Cup race of the year being held at Mt. Tremblant, QC.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

C4 Training Sessions

After some successful race training sessions last year with Cory Leclerc-C4 Rider Trainning, I figured it'd be great to get a jump on things this year with some early off season training.

Photo by Zander Geddes
Pump Track Action
My training has brought together strength and cardio programs, courtesy of Karen Mann, and on-the-bike drills and training sessions with Cory and the rest of the C4 Race team.

Karen provided me with not only a very detailed gym training plan but also some great input on correcting some of my movement patterns to help fix some of my old injuries, and prevent new ones!

Training with Cory and the C4 boys has been challenging, yet super fun, and has really helped me gain some needed confidence and improvement in my technical abilities.  Although not always conventional, Cory's methods work and he certianly keeps you entertained along the way.

Photo by Zander Geddes
Cory giving us a pep-talk
In all seriousness, Cory cares about your success, and really strives to help one reach their goals.  I'm stoked for what lies ahead this season, and know that I am better prepared thanks to all the hard work!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Almost all set...

I am just about all set for the race season with the addition of a new protection piece, courtesy of Cycles Lambert and Leatt Brace.

After a crash I had last year, where I suffered a whip lash type injury to my neck, I thought it was about time to start protecting that vital area.  My new Leatt DBX Comp II arrived just in time for the onset of the season, and I was glad to have a couple days to test it out before my first race.
I wasn't sure how it might afect my range of motion while on the bike, but after just a couple laps I didn't even notice it was there.  The DBX comp II is lighter than than the DBX comp, and does have a lower profile giving greater range of motion.  I was impressed with how easyit was to get it dialed into the fit I wanted. 

On top of that Lambert also included some new necessities to keep me running through the season!

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New TLD gear...it's like Christmas all over again!

Over the past couple of weeks my new Troy Lee Designs kit for the 2011 season has been showing up bit by bit; it's like Christmas all over again...and again, and again.  As more pieces roll in, I find my closet becoming overrun with bike gear, and am loving it!


The new race kit

TLD has once again outdone themselves with colours and designs that really pop...not to mention an ever growing women's line.  Some of my favorite additions this year, are the Skyline shorts and the women's moto shorts.  Troy Lee has also added some base layer pieces this year that are women specific and the new undershorts and chamois are amazing!
Women's Skyline Shorts...feels like you're wearing nothing at all!
There are some new additions on the protection front as well, and in my opinion these are some of the most comfortable and light weight pieces of any armour I've tried.  The boday armour is really great for anyone who also uses a Leatt brace, as the padding is removable so you can adjust where you need to to get a good fit.  I did find that the sizing was a bit larger than usual, so I ended up sizing down one-size in order to get a good fit.  Here's a look at some of the pieces.
BP 7850-HW
Elbow guard 5500
Knee/Shin 5450
This year I once again decided to go with the D3 carbon helmet to protect my most vital asset...my brain:)  A super light weight helmet with awesome graphics and of course amazing protection!

D3 Carbon- Medusa all the way baby!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's all about XC right now!

I know I've posted lots about my XC adventures already, but this one adventure in particular was a milestone for my friend, Kari Mancer, who last year suffered a terrible injury to her back (not to mention several other bumps and bruises) while riding.  Today we went on, what would be, her first pedal up the Happy Trail into some technical Pemberton XC trails....or should I say Cross Country/Downhill trails.
At the top of "Cream Puff" looking down onto the Pemby valley
It was great to see Kari back out on her bike, and killing it after so many months off and still rehabing from her accident.  Go Kari, go!!!!

Kari stoked on her ride!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Squamish XC...a day of riding and photos in the mist

Last weekend I got a chance to get out and do some XC riding in Squamish for the first time this season with a few friends, and despite the light rain we were greeted with as we made our final descent into Squamish we had an amazing day of riding and getting in some photos as well...Matt even entrusted me with his camera to snap a pic of him getting his pedal on!

Matt getting his pedal on, and me trying my hand at photography
Being their first pedal of the season, Matt and Rowena were working out some of the winter cob webs, but were right back into the swing of things in no time!  I'm loving the XC this year...It's a lot more fun with an actual XC bike;)


I'm going UP!?
Photo by Matthew Mallory
Photo by Matthew Mallory

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's that time of year again!

As the snow starts to finally melt here in Pemberton, BC, my new XC bike arrived just in time!  This year I am stoked to be working with Santa Cruz Bicycles and was super pumped to get my new "Juliana" all built up and ready for her first ride!
My Juliana all ready to go
The Juliana is a women's specific bike and it fit like a dream!  I was a little hesitant to go with a women's specific bike as generally I'm pretty hard on my equipment, but this baby is built to last and handles incredibly well.  

I've got my Juliana all pimped out with Marzocchi suspension (thanks Naz and Marzocchi Canada!)... the Rocco AIR LO SC on the rear and the Corsa SL LR up front...both have lock out functions (which I have already found to be helpful on the climbs) and are super light and responsive.