By: Kinley Gibson
Home is Edmonton, so I’ve spent the last few months following most of my Cyclery Racing teammates through social media. Everyone’s been very busy – skiing, riding trainers, and generally building a strong base for the road season to come. Meanwhile, Cyclery teammate Ariane Bonhomme and I have been track focused, doing plenty of laps on the velodrome to prepare for the World Cup held last weekend in Cali, Colombia.
Ariane and I spent the last year training with the NextGen track squad; honing our team pursuit technique, and working to bring our times down bit by bit. The Cali World Cup was our first experience racing with the Elite WTE squad under coach Craig Griffin. We were both a bit nervous, unsure of both what we should expect, and whether we could perform at the level required. Luckily, experienced WTE members Steph Roorda and Laura Brown soon set our minds at ease. Throughout the training camp in Milton they brought patience, great positivity, and loads of helpful advice. Thanks to Craig, and the leadership of Steph and Laura, we gelled as a team early on and made quick progress.
We arrived in Cali and immediately got to work. We had a few days to fine-tune our riding on the Cali velodrome, which poses a few more difficulties than the track in Milton. For one, the long straights and tight corners require you to “round” the track – rising to the red on the straights and dropping to the black line in the corners. The track is also open air, so you have the wind to contend with – tricky when you’re riding inches from the wheel in front of you. Nonetheless, we went into the first round feeling confident in our technical and physical abilities.
We went up against Poland in qualifiers, and ended up posting the second fastest time of the day – 4:25.7. This put us into the first round against Australia, who had finished just behind us. We cleaned up our ride a bit technically, and dropped over a second from our first ride. Nonetheless, the Aussies still won the round, dropping their time to an impressive 4:21.5.
Going into finals, we knew if we could settle the pace in the first 2km and ride smoothly, the speed would come. We faced France in the final, and despite the windy evening we were able to put together another 4:25.7 – the fastest time of the final round, earning us a bronze medal. Australia took the gold, with Italy next for silver.
With that track block under our belts, Ariane and I are back to road focus, gearing up for the Cyclery Racing team camp down in South Carolina. It’s been a few years since I was down in SC, and I’m really looking forward to getting back there – the winding roads and beautiful climbs are unforgettable. I can’t wait to experience it again alongside my Cyclery teammates!