Wendy Simms won the both the Canadian National Championship and British Columbia Provincial Championship on back to back days in Kamloops B. C. She had been waiting for a weekend like this after a frustrating mountain bike season and inconsistent start to the cyclocross season. This weekend she proved she is one of the top Elite women cyclocross athletes as she added a 3rd and her most impressive Canadian National Cyclocross Championship to her resume.
The women’s field was loaded with talent as some of the best cyclocross racers and former mountain bike world champion set to do battle. The course was very tight and twisty with not a lot of good places to pass or form fast pace lines. Each bit of the course seemed to benefit each rider in different ways, Simms through the technical sections, Lyne Bessette in the power sections and Alison Sydor in the corners. As a result the race turned out to be very tactical and came down to the final 150 meters.
From the gun the three top riders-Simms, Bessette and Sydor drove a hard pace and distanced themselves from the main field. Bessette was intent on driving the race from the front while the other riders marked her throughout. Simms sat second wheel for much of the race deciding to take the tactical approach that paid off. “Lyne likes to race from front and you have to respect the power that she has. I told myself to play it smart Wendy Simms today even though I wanted to test Lyne a bit sooner than I did. I played one card early and she marked my attack right away so I knew she had good legs and was going to be battle all day,” said Simms.
Simms executed her race plan to perfection. As she pre-rode the course she picked some sections where she would attack. As the race progressed she watched the other riders she knew she had picked the right spots. She wanted to go earlier but her pit crew told her to be patient and let the race come to her. That she did and on the final lap she attacked on section that Bessette had been faster through and was able to get the lead. This allowed Simms to go into the next technical section, which she had been riding faster, with a bit of a gap that she was able to increase. From there it was 150 meters to the finish as Sydor pulled off a daring but clean pass on Bessette that allowed Simms to sprint solo to the line for the win.
BC Provincial Championships the day before was much the same. A full race of cat and mouse with Simms and Bessette riding together and trading leads throughout the race. Both wanted to win but both were also saving some legs for the Canadian Championships the next day. The two were together the whole race and all the way down the finish straight and Simms was able to barely out sprint Bessette for the BC Provincial Championship Win.
Race Report Courtesy of KONA