By: Emily Flynn
This morning started off with the usual 10am team spin. Today we headed out to the ferries and saw some bald eagles and pterodactyls (Great Blue Herons). Then relaxed for the afternoon to get ready for the infamous Gastown Crit.
Gastown is one of the most exciting races apart of B.C. Superweek. This is because of the course which features tight corners and cobble stoned sections of road. It is because of the fierce competition vying for a chance at the equal prize payout, crowd primes and glory. It is because of the atmosphere and the thousands (yes thousands!) of spectators lining the streets, filling patios and climbing levels of parking garages just to get a glimpse of the race action. Furthermore, it is also one of the more historic races with editions dating back to the 1970s and racers riding over the oldest road in Vancouver. This being my third year at the race, I knew to expect all this. However, every time it is just as exciting and awe inspiring. And to me making sure to take in the whole experience is so important and one of my favourite parts of being a bike racer.
After an early arrival to avoid traffic and ensure a spot in team alley we each got underway with our warm-ups. I choose rollers to warm-up on and in general the rule is the shorter the race the longer the warm-up, especially so you are able to go right from the gun. The team was ready at the line to ensure a good starting position and after some call ups the race was off. For me, at the start, I saw a lot of the race from the back and played a bit of cat and mouse game with the pack. As people started to fall off the back though I would make my way up. During the race I could hear that Trek Red truck’s Denise Ramsden was off the front solo. Shortly afterwards I heard that our own Annie Foreman-Mackey was coming for her! It is so exciting to hear a teammates name over the loudspeaker. Denise, being a total thug, lapped the field and Annie stayed away for 2nd, having been solo for at least seven laps. This is a break through ride for Annie and for the team. As a team we continue to show that we belong at this level and that is so exciting. Personally I am learning that I belong on this level as well as this is the first year that I have finished Gastown!
Afterwards, Ellen and I sprinted to Cartem’s Donuterie to get some long-anticipated doughnuts for the team. We certainly deserved them and they were delicious! We then watched the exciting men’s race and screamed for Annie during the podium ceremony.
Tomorrow the team is in Burnaby for the Giro de Burnaby.