This year's Junior Road World Championships were held about a month later than usual - in part because of the August Olympics, but more to address the extreme heat of the middle east.
The best road cyclists in the world gathered in Doha, Qatar October 9-16 to race the Women's, and Men's Elite Team Time Trial (TTT), Individual Time Trial (ITT), and respective Road Races. The Junior Men, and Women (U19) also held their ITT and Road Race World Championships.
Juventus second year junior Devaney Collier was part of the the team of 4 junior women from Canada selected to compete in Doha. Before heading to the heat, the juniors spent a couple of weeks in Belgium racing and training to prepare for the competition.
Devaney was familiar with her team mates, as these were the same girls she traveled with to Switzerland in August for the Junior World Track Cycling Championships. Now though, a major component of competition would involve the ability to handle the environment.
"To someone who has never been to Doha I would describe it as being like Las Vegas except no alcohol and a lot more clothing. It was hot. So. Hot.
Luckily the junior women's road race (my only event) was at 8:30am on a particularly mild day, only hitting 35 degrees. The course was just over 15 kilometres per lap and we needed a new bottle every time we went around just to keep hydrated.
The race was almost exactly what we had all expected, a bunch sprint with the most organized teams claiming victory. As cohesive as our little junior group is as a team pursuit squad (Erin Attwell, Maggie Coles-Lyster, Laurie Jussaume) we did not do a fantastic job of creating a lead-out train. I finished in 24th place with the same bunch time as the 50ish other riders who managed to avoid the road furniture and feed zone kerfuffles.
The opportunity to rub shoulders with the best cyclists in the world and pick some Canadian pro's brains were the highlights of my trip. It’s always cool to be reminded that they’re all just people too, and are not immune to our lowly human struggles...such as food poisoning…RIP stomachs of anyone who ate the mushroom salad."
Congratulations to Devaney Collier for her team work and solid ride at the 2016 Junior Road World Cycling Championships in Doha, Qatar!