Milton, Ontario's Mattamy National Cycling Centre has now experienced Track Nationals Juventus style:
3 Gold medals for 3 National Championships
1 National Record
6 Silver medals
4 Bronze medals
5 very close fourth place finishes (podiums next year!)
But these great results were just part of the story . . .
We had 9 athletes competing: Elite level NextGens Evan Burtnik racing for Team Race Clean and Kinley Gibson racing for Trek Red Truck; Meika Ellis in Elite Women, Michel Herszak in Elite Men, Gail Wozny and Lindsay Sommerset in Master Women, and Dan Nelson, Jeff Bakal, and Peter Toth in Master A, B, and C Men respectively.
There was more! We had a support team that began with Adam Todd organizing club wheels to ensure each rider rode the set needed (and more!) for a perfect race. In prudent fashion, Dave Embury had made the long trek to Milton in a van, safely delivering wheels, rollers, bikes and trainers for the team. Upon arrival, Dave secured Juventus lockers (Dave style), the perfect pen was staked - and Juventus set up for success.
And then the racing began . . . and the team was in action . . .
Jeff with his knowing track eye, complete pit knowledge, thoughtful coaching, calming influence, caustic comedy, and available advice.
Dave with more track eye, rider support, equipment help, and available advice.
Stefan Ritter (currently training with Team Canada, but still a junior) with regular drop ins - even if it did mean he had to pay for admission (he didn't - but he definitely was close).
Expert pinning, coffee runs, grocery runs, airport runs, and ALMOST manager-like behaviour from Linda.
Chairs to include our favourite fellows Cabbage, Scott, and Dylan.
Michel's increasing enthusiasm as each race progressed.
And family stuff - cheers, tears, and so much fun!
Ivan Rupes was on hand to photograph the action in Milton. Here is a bit of what his camera caught. Please visit ivanrupes.com to purchase these and other photos.
Meika put in great efforts in match sprints, team sprint, the keiran and the 500TT. As a full time student in Ottawa, training with a long distance coach can be tough; Meika came ready to race, learn, and enjoy team fun Juventus style.
Lindsay sets up for her 500 TT. She also raced the IP and tried out the scratch - not bad for her first time on a wooden track. Lindsay is looking forward to 2017!
Gail gave her all at nationals, racing the 500 TT, scratch, points, and her goal race - the IP. After a year's preparation with Alex at AVRA, her highlight came in the IP: she won the Master Women's National Championship, the championship jersey, and she broke the national record for her age group!
Jeff wore many hats in Milton. First, he, Dave E., and reps from the City of Edmonton met with kindred spirits from the Mattamy National Cycle Centre to discuss a variety of issues related to optimizing velodrome facilities. Interspersed between meetings, Jeff donned his skinsuit and competed in a cornucopia of events in Master B - digging deep into legs that could almost cooperate long enough for the desired result. Our leader always had his eye on what the team needed: advice, consoling, splits on the line, equipment help, or just a little humour to ease some stress.
Dan was a bundle of non stop energy at his first track nationals. He prepared well with Alex at AVRA, and put in solid performances in his Master A events. He was quick to pick up on the nuances of the 250 m indoor wooden track and added spice to his bunch races
Peter is very comfortable on the track and used to the antics of Master C men. He competed well in all the bunch races, had a strong pursuit - and was always animating the track, the pit, and the podium.
Michel was our lead sprinter at elite track nationals. Michel now makes his home in Canada, but our Juventus German was fired up and ready to take any Canadian right to the line. Michel is never short when an all out effort is required - powering himself to silver medal performances in elite men. He has set his eye firmly on the top step of the podium come 2017.
Evan was racing for Team Race Clean at elite nationals and focussed on the team pursuit. The team won the national championship in excellent time and were rewarded with Canadian Championship jerseys. Evan also had a solid ride in the individual pursuit, an event held within the Omnium.
Kinley raced for her trade team Trek Red Truck at elite nationals. She was part of a composite team pursuit, and raced the Omnium. Her highlight came in the IP, where significant improvement was enough to win the national championship and go under the international standard. She raced a strong points race to finish second to Steph Roorda in the Omnium.
Of course, we missed some of our training partners here in Milton. Fortunately, mad drawing skills ensured they were part of our team picture. How lucky we were to nab Adam's namesake for our pic!
Here we include all the players: Stefan who is training in Milton, Dave who smoothed out each day - knowing just the right thing to do, Linda who likes to be helpful, and Scott, Adam, and Dylan - who will be here competing next year!