I'm really excited to announce that I will be partnering with Focus Bikes and Broad Street Bicycles this year! My sweet new ride will be built up this Monday - come on by in the afternoon and say "hi", and take a gander at the 2012 Focus line up while you're there!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Hisense Arena. Photo by Steve Sleep.
After our success in London in February, the Team Pursuit squad decided to minimize specific preparation for Melbourne, and instead trained most of the way through the event. Our main goal was to ride a more technically sound ride than we did in London, and practice different race scenarios, while letting the speed sort itself out.
Discussing race strategy with Coach Tanya Dubnicoff. Photo by Rob Jones.
In the qualifying round, we rode a 3:19.4, good enough for third place and a spot in the bronze medal final later in the day against the Kiwis.
Me-Jasmin-Tara. Photo by Rob Jones.
With less than 2 hours between the qualifying round and the medal rides, the team quickly cooled down and attempted to relax and refocus as much as possible, knowing that we would need to ride a near-perfect race to beat the veteran New Zealand team.
In what seemed like no time at all, we were back on the start line, ready to leave everything out on the track for the second time that afternoon. From the opening of the start gate to the pistol shot signalling the end of the race, we rode closer together and executed our best exchanges yet, and held off the Kiwis by three tenths of a second to take the bronze medal with a time of 3:19.5.
First ever World Championship medal for Canada in Women's Team Pursuit! Photo by Rob Jones.
With less than 4 months remaining until the start of the London Olympic Games, the 2011/2012 UCI Track Cycling season is now over. I would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has tirelessly worked towards helping our team successfully compete with the best in the world. We would not be able to train and prepare the way we do without such amazing and generous support. See you in London!
Posted by Gillian Carleton at 3:07 PM
Monday, April 9, 2012
The proof is in the pudding, the saying goes. But in this case it's on the velodrome track. The Canadian women's team pursuit cycling trio, which includes Gillian Carleton of Victoria, again proved it will be a medal contender at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
The team of Carleton, Edmonton's Tara Whitten and Coquitlam's Jasmin Glaesser won the bronze medal Thursday at the world track cycling championships in Melbourne, Australia.
The Canadians shaded New Zealand in the bronze medal race while Great Britain defeated the host Aussies for the gold.
Earlier in the year, Canada won silver behind Great Britain in the official test event for the 2012 Summer Games held on London's Olympic velodrome.
"The goal of our team pursuit squad is to win a medal in London, and with the depth of talent and experience on the team, I believe that's a very realistic goal," said Carleton, now solidly on beam to become one of the more than 45 Island-based athletes expected to compete in the London Games.
"There's some solid training that needs to be done between now and August to make that goal a reality, but I am confident that we will rise to the challenge."
The remarkable thing is that Carleton, a part-time UVic student who also works part-time at Oak Bay Bicycles, only took up velodrome racing last summer.
"To be honest, the fact that I might be going to the Olympics hasn't really sunk in yet, as at this time last year I still hadn't even raced at an elite level on the track," said Carleton.
"I had competed on the road a few years ago, winning the Canada Summer Games in 2009, but after that I was a bit burned out on racing and spent a few years just working and focusing on my degree. Last year though I had the chance to help organize the Harbour Sprints [part of the Victoria International Cycling Festival], and I also did a bunch of alleycat races which totally reignited my passion for cycling.
"The local fixed-gear scene was just so dramatically different from anything I was used to and I loved how passionate the community was about having the most fun possible on two wheels. When the West Shore Velodrome re-opened last spring, a bunch of friends and I started racing. And it turned out I was pretty decent at it."
The St. Margaret's graduate has also accomplished a tenaciously determined comeback since crashing in a World Cup points race in Kazakhstan last fall. Carleton got back on her bike after the crash to finish fourth despite competing with a fractured pelvis and torn abductor muscle.
Posted by Gillian Carleton at 8:29 PM