Easterns, Westerns, and Ski Tour Canada!

After a busy past few weeks travelling from race to race across the country, I’m very happy to say that I have been selected to race at the Ski Tour Canada! The tour, which starts March 1st, is an international, multi-stage televised World Cup event. With 8 races in 12 days, the tour heads through cities like Gatineau, Montreal, and Quebec City before finishing in Canmore.

Ever since the Tour was announced, qualifying for it has been a huge goal of mine. Competing in so many World Cup races in my home country is a once in a lifetime opportunity. With almost all of the top racers in the world coming here to compete, the competition will be stiff, and I’m so excited to be representing Canada in this event.

Check out this Ski Tour Canada video by Buff Canada!

Since returning from Europe at the end of January, my training and racing focus has been both on preparing for and on qualifying for the tour. This included heading to Gatineau, Quebec, to race in the Eastern Canadian Championships.

This year was my first time racing at the Nakkertok trails! Their steep climbs and fast descents reminded me a lot of my home trails in Athabasca and were a lot of fun to race on. I finished the weekend with a 4th place finish in the skate distance race, a 1st place in the skate sprint, and an 8th place in the 15km classic!

2016_02_CEC_Prologue_7
Racing to 1st place in the Easterns skate sprint (Photo credit: Philippe Daoust)

After some post-Easterns recovery time in Canmore, I headed to Prince George, B.C. to compete in the Western Canadian Championships. The trails at PG are very technical, which makes for some exciting racing. I came away from the weekend with a bronze medal in the classic sprint and a bronze medal in the skate distance race. One of my goals this year has been to get onto a distance NorAm podium, and it felt great to finally do that in PG.

westerns skate distance podium
So happy to be on a distance NorAm podium (l-r: Olivia, Dahria, me).

Now I’m back in Canmore, recovering from the weekend of racing and in the midst of final preparations for the Ski Tour. My goal for the tour is to get a top-30 result, which would earn me my first ever World Cup points. With less than 1 week to go until the tour starts, I’m feeling a healthy mixture of nerves and excitement!

If you’re interested in watching the tour live, entry to the race sites is free! For those of you who can’t make it to see the races, they will be televised on CBC (schedule available here: http://skitourcanada.com/en/tv-broadcast/). You can spot the Canadian team in either our red and white national colours, or our home team suits. I will be wearing my racing team RMR’s blue, yellow, and white suit.

Hope to see you at the tour!

Maya


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