Every year it’s the same question, “What are you goals this season?”
It’s a loaded questions. And every year I struggle to balance my answer so my goals seem neither astronomical nor diminutive. There will always be those people that doubt you, and every year, despite my hardest efforts, I let them bother me.
This year I had one goal I felt I really need to reach: Defend National Title.
I also set other goals, which at the time seemed a bit lofty: Get Podium at .2 UCI Race.
Having done less than 10 days of Elite UCI racing before 2015, I knew that checking that box could be stretch (and tipping towards the side of astronomical). I had a shaky start to my year — lots of travel, followed by lots of sickness, accompanied with lots of racing. When we left Tour of The Gila and New Mexico behind I was feeling tired and dejected. My lack of stellar performances hanging over me like a dark cloud. I did know what to do. So I rested, I got out of my own head and by the time I got to Tour of Saguneay I was missing my teammates and eager to race my bike again.
Stage 1 was inspiration. Matteo had a breakthrough ride, the team had a dominating performance and I felt inspired to believe that with this team I could achieve the results I had foolishly written down at the beginning of the year. With that feeling I entered Beauce. Now, I always viewed Tour de Beauce as a legend. I knew success would not come easy and I had to have everything come together. I needed to be patient, have great legs, and well, on the 5th and final stage, I took my first ever UCI level win. Astronomical box checked.
My confidence returned and now I knew all I had to do was re-claim my Canadian Champions jersey in the road race. It was a stronger U23 field from the year previously and a far less selective course, making the task infinitely more challenging. A few breaks went early in the race and things seemed under control, with a couple orange clad men on Argon 18 bikes ahead my role was apparent, but when cooperation lifted upfront and died back in the pack it seemed as if my hands were tied and I would not get the chance to defend my title.
Then things quickly changed and after turning myself inside out and back again to follow Christian Meier up a long climb it seems I had suffered a 1000 deaths, but when I looked up we were all coming back together. Blind from the effort I sprinted to the line to grabbed my title. I was in disbelief.
Now, all my goals for the 2015 now had checks in the boxes beside them and I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. But I still wanted more. I went into the Canadian Criterium Championships the following day exhausted but focused on the task at hand — get a jersey Silber could fly proudly in criteriums. The course was difficult but suited to our team’s strengths, and when I found myself alone in front I quickly established a rhythm using the data from my Quarq. I knew what I could sustain and where to go hard. After 75 minutes on the rivet I had another jersey and little bottle of maple syrup, designated for Canadian Champions.
I couldn’t have had such a rewarding June without the support of my team, family, supporters, and coach. Thank you. I look forward to wearing a maple leaf on my chest in criteriums for the next 12 months.