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.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Pan Am Champs Wrap Up and Next Steps

Thanks again for your help with this year's projects. It's been an interesting year attempting to break into international competition and somewhat difficult to keep in the loop myself. Please excuse the disjointed nature of the information I have to offer!

The update on the second half of the Mexico trip and Pan Am Championships was absent, so here goes. I did not make second spot for team sprint, however I was able to compete in match sprints and the 500m time trial. In the 200m sprint qualification my best time yet was set at 11.153 placing 9th. I also came 9th in the 500m. A slip in focus prevented much progression in match sprint and subsequently affected my selection for keirin, so that was pretty much it for my first go at Pan American competition. Access to national team coaching, and an olympic size track quenched a thirst for the real deal competition wise. It has been a long season, heavy on the training, light on racing with much anxiety waiting in limbo.

The last word I received leaving Mexico was to be ready for early November team sprint trials in LA and potentially race prep and first world cup in Guadalajara immediately following. I haven't had word since and considering it's all happening and I'm still in Niagara, I guess it's a no go for me!

My training plan with coach and partner David Jack continues with focus on Canadian Elite Track Nationals in Milton, Ontario this January. Although, it's not been clarified where I fit into athlete ranking in Canada (eagerly awaiting athlete list update), I have been confirmed access to the National Team training schedule when the velodrome in Milton opens. Through the grapevine, this may be mid-November. For now training continues at home, Energy Fitness Club and on the fastest 138m track in the world, Forest City Velodrome in London, ON! Full time hours continue at Niagara Falls History Museum. Staff have been awesome about the time away for additional travel this year. With vacation time used up to attend trials/training/competition, I have had to use unpaid leave for the most recent project. The work/training paradox is ongoing. Both sides are supportive as they can be, but as an athlete I find it a very frustrating compromise.

My apologies for not being more forthcoming with information on developments. From the opportunities I enjoyed this season competing with elite international athletes at T-Town, Pennsylvania and Aguascalientes, Mexico, I know there's a gap to bridge in technical aspects, physical ability and simple experience. With that knowledge as brain fuel, I continue to work with what I have and plow ahead to be ready for next time. If I find out anything, I'll let you know!

A draft of selection criteria for Pan Am Games 2015 here in Ontario has been released. If like me you're motivated by specific and exceptional goals, it's right up your ally. Give it a go!