Yukon mountain biker Mara Roldan, who made the Canadian team and travelled to Val di Sole, Italy, had her world mountain bike championships Junior Women cross country race on Aug. 26.
It was a great opportunity, said Roldan, but the race did not go according to plan.
“I got a flat about halfway through the race,” said Roldan. “I’m a little bit disappointed.”
Roldan received the flat tire while navigating through a rock feature.
“I had a crash earlier in the race, so I was pretty far behind and I also started in the back because my ranking isn’t high yet,” said Roldan. “As I was going over the rocks I was trying to pass some girls, the nervousness was high, then I got the flat. There was absolutely no air.”
Along the course, Roldan said there are “feed stops” — think a pit stop in auto racing. There racers can refuel with water and food and also get fixes to the bike.
“I had to run with my bike about two kilometres to the next feed stop,” said Roldan.
Roldan said there was a time limit to reach each of the stops, and having to run those two kilometres set her back.
“That’s what was so disappointing,” said Roldan. “If I could have just gotten the flat a little farther down the course I could have made it.
“I wouldn’t have had the best results, but, I at least would have got to finish.”
The part of the course she did experience, about 15-18 kilometres, was tough.
“It was very technical,” said Roldan. “There was lots of climbing and downhills without much rest time or flat areas.”
Although she was disappointed in the end result, Roldan said it is all part of mountain biking and is still thankful for the experience gained.
“Having the tune-up race in Switzerland then travelling to Italy was all amazing,” said Roldan.
Roldan, 17, was one of the younger athletes to compete in her age group, U19.
“It was a good experience and I’m hoping to qualify and make the team again next year,” said Roldan. “Hopefully the next time I won’t get a flat.”
With valuable international experience, Roldan will be back on the national scene.
She has the national road cycling championships coming up, a type of cycling she isn’t as versed in.
“I’m not as confident road cycling but it will still be lots of fun and good experience,” said Roldan.
Following the road race, Roldan will be in Quebec for the national mountain biking championship.
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org