About Sara

Sara Byers is a Elite Canadian Provincial and National Champion in road and track cycling. Based in Niagara and racing with
Kallisto-FCV p/b Toyo Tires (Forest City Velodrome) and Canada's National Sprint Team, upcoming goals include
2015 Pan Am Championships, Track World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympics.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Progress Report - Assessment Camp & Commonwealth Games

This past week was spent in Los Angeles with Canada's new Sprint Coach, Erin Hartwell who successfully led 24 Canadian athletes through a week of drills and exercises to assess Canada's sprint pool. This first step brings Cycling Canada closer to filling a roster for its new Sprint Program and executing a plan to bring Canada to the top of Track Sprint competition worldwide.

The coach and each athlete stepped up to the plate and gave their all for many hours each day, elbow to elbow prepping and racing. By the end we came together as a close team of coaches, competitors and friends. Through the week we were timed and tested, individually and in groups, undergeared and overgeared, then right on gear for South Bay Wheelers Time Trials that ended the program on Sunday. At this competition Erin was able to see how athletes function in a competition environment.

For me, the SBW Time Trial was also the last time I would be able to make the time standards for CG's before deadline today. Time standards can only be attempted at the LA track when race officials are present.

With long term development/competition opportunities/support on the line if I qualified for Canada's programme, I worked my hardest through the week to make that programme and was successful. In all of the tests I came out well ahead of the female field and finished among the men's results, integrating into some of their assessment exercises.

This was not an ideal set up to make CG's time standards. Where in the past I had tapered to rest before trials, this time the volume and intensity of training increased exponentially. My best times stand from the first attempt at 11.89 for the 200m and 36.47 for the 500m, where the standards are 11.75 and 36.262.

CG's would be an amazing introduction to world level competition and an opportunity to gain UCI points, as I have been told I will do through the new sprint programme, however I ran out of time and had a conflict of schedules that didn't allow me to fulfill the time criteria. I know that I am able to exceed the time standards if I am rested.

There may be a remote chance of making the pool as it isn't announced until June 4th. However, I'm assured that similar competition opportunities will be available through the new sprint programme. The next CG's is in 2018 and I'll certainly be even stronger then than I am now.

Watch for Joe Veloce and Hugo Barrette who are the only track sprinters to make the standards and may be competing in CG's. They have been racing world cup and Joe went to the last Olympics. Despite not having a programme in place since, they've obviously been working hard and are flying!

Representing Track on the BBC!!



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