Showing posts from July, 2011

The Olympic Test Event in Essex, England

Under clear and sunny skies the men and women of many nations lined up to race the Olympic course for the first time. Team Canada had arrived on Wednesday for the Sunday event to test out our accommodations, driving routes and log some serious training time in London.  The four of us athletes had a great time chasing each other around the course, trying out the drops and gap jumps and seeing what lines helped us carry the most speed.   I think as a team we did a great job of collecting information for whoever ends up racing at the Olympics, we had a lot of fun and despite some good training load going into the race, we raced well. It was a little surprising how real it did feel.   All the workers, volunteers and fans were so excited and happy to have us there.  There was a ton of media and helicopters hovering over the spectacularly open course.  There was definitely more excitement than at a regular World Cup. The women raced first and were paraded around the start loop before g

Fast and Female

So I did two other things Fast and Female outside of the women’s Canadian Championship race this weekend. The Fast and Female mtb camp, the brain child of Olympic gold medallist Chandra Crawford.  We had over 40 girls age 9-15 come to learn some mtb skills,  be inspired, dance and just have fun with the women of the number 1 ranked country in women’s mtn biking.  That’s ride Canada. Whoot whoo Super cute Event video: I also had the pleasure of meeting Olympic silver medallists in Bob sled Hellen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown and teach them how to mtn bike as we filmed a segment for “How tough are these sports?” for CTV Olympics.  What fantastic women and great sports!  I don’t know if I would have been so gutsy learning to bob sled….but would relish the opportunity!  You have to wait till next August to see the show, but you can follow these ladies on twitter (which they have gotten me onto ) Hellen, myself and Shelley-Ann

Good things come in 3’s

Photo: Rob Jones Last weekend we had our Canadian National Championships in Canmore, Alberta.  The course was fantastic.  Lots  of great trails, some fast that you could really set your bike into, others requiring you to back off to make a tough step up or uphill switchback.  The course was demanding, but very fun (actually so demanding a section was taken out (but luckily after I overcame my mental demon and rode it smoothly a couple times…a story to come here later). Coming off of 3 sleeps at home and some pretty intense world cups I was having a bit of trouble switching gears back into battle mode.  This worried me as at the last world cup Marie-Helene was less than a minute off of me.  I knew her and her team were hungry for a win and with the different dynamic of not sharing the start line with an additional 60-80 women the race might play itself out differently. MHP took to the front on the start loop and as we headed into the lap I took over.  Emily Batt

Windham World Cup

Photo: Rob Jones. Check out for all race news Yesterday was one of the best World Cup battles I have had.  After a slow week in the countryside of upstate New York, staying in a farm house without the usual time occupiers of cell reception and internet I was looking forward to some race action and Action is what I got Saturday. After recovering from a mediocre start, I was able to grab the lead and pull away with only Julie Besset coming with me.  It's always neat to have number 1 and 2 duking it out blow for blow for an entire race and there was an amazing Canadian and American crowd cheering the entire time. Even all the team managers were getting into it and every word of encouragement was appreciated! To have a hope at winning the World cup overall, I could really use another win. I was entering world cup #5 140 points behind, but a win would bring it down to 90.  I also had set a goal of achieving back to back victories and winning the end of a race. O

Racing World Cups at home

You realize how big Canada is when you are talking about growing up pretty close to Mont Sainte Anne, only a 7hr car drive away.  But the trails feel like the trails I learned to ride my bike on as a teenager.  Challenging single track through dense forest, exposed roots and rocks and when it rains, mud and lots of it.  To me the trails in MSA, Quebec are mountain biking.  The course there has always allowed me to excel from Nationals in 2004 until yesterday, my 34th World cup (incl championships) event.  Wow, how have I suddenly become a veteran having only started doing the WC series in 2007? No matter, I am still loving it and the people that surround me at these events.  Over the years the locals have come to embrace me as a favourite alongside local Marie-Helene.  I even had a french woman yell out during my race “we are proud of you Catharine.”  That is why racing in your home country is so special.  To be able to make those that share a connection with you proud.  It’s what mak