British Columbia in July is pretty awesome. Snow capped mountains, the pacific ocean, beaches, sunshine, warm weather and friendly people who just love being outdoors-doing sports. Its definitely part of the charm at BC Superweek and why the team likes coming here every year. And who knows, maybe that’s part of the reason the women’s team has been on such a tear here so far – three wins in three races!
We kicked of Superweek with the Tour of Delta. We came on the back of great success in the Canadian Championships. These races are also part of a crucial build up for us towards La Course – by the Tour de France. Motivation in the team is high and the riders are gelling really well.
Its an interesting dynamic inside a team when you have a rider like Leah – who is pretty unstoppable right now. Tactically, We can approach the race with options and try to win in 2-3 different ways, while knowing that if those efforts aren’t successful we have a really high chance to win with Leah’s sprint.
This is exactly how to approached the first race – the MK Delta criterium. We wanted to race aggressive and establish a break with good numbers. If that didn’t work out, we wanted to setup Leah to freelance the sprint by having Jade and Denise hit out late – and try to win with a bold last-ditch solo. If we were lucky, we’d snag the ‘crowd preme’ – or ‘gambler’s preme’ enroute.
The tough hill on the backside made this approach really effective for our team. It worked! Denise won, Jade third, Leah fourth, Annie fifth. A great start to the week! Congrats to Alison Jackson from the local Glotman Simpson team who got in there for second.
More or less we took the same approach for the next two stages in Delta. We wanted to win, but we didn’t want to just rely on Leah. She is such a great team leader because she’s just as happy to see the another team mate win. We approached the races aggressively, tried to setup Denise, Jade, Courteney or Annie for a win and use Leah as a backup security. We’re thinking about France here, and making sure the races are hard is good to raise our riders fitness. If the team has to race aggressive through the race, and then potentially setup a leadout for Leah they’re doing that with tired legs. This will be somewhat similar to Paris, where the level will be really high and we’ll be challenged by the best teams and riders in the world.
In the end the Brenco criterium and White Spot Delta UCI road race came down to bunch sprints. Leah won both, and the girls set her up great – with tired legs from attacking! Spirits are high, and we’re happy how the races are going. Only thing that we’ve been missing are those classic BC summer days. The first few days were over-cast with a little bit of rain. That changed today and we hope it continues through the UBC and Gastown races.
Kevin Field is the 2014 Women’s