Sara Poidevin

Rally rider leaves the pelo­ton be­hind

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - Q&A - by Dean Camp­bell STATS

Sara Poidevin is head­ing into her third year as a pro, rac­ing for Rally Cy­cling. A strong climber, she turned heads last year in Colorado, de­mol­ish­ing the pelo­ton on the steep climbs to the fin­ish and sweep­ing all of the win­ner’s jer­seys. Re­cently, the soft-spo­ken Al­ber­tan took some time to re­flect on her ca­reer so far. How did you get started with bikes? When we were liv­ing in Cochrane, I was rid­ing my bike to school when I was young, go­ing with my mom every day. Once we moved to Can­more, we got more into moun­tain bik­ing.

I started rid­ing with the lo­cal moun­tain bike club in Can­more, the Run­dle Moun­tain Cy­cling Club. I wanted to get into winter train­ing as well, but at the time they only spring and sum­mer pro­grams, so I started work­ing with a coach in Calgary. He was also the coach for the Al­berta Cy­cling As­so­ci­a­tion, so I got some op­por­tu­ni­ties to race for the provin­cial team do­ing both road and moun­tain bike rac­ing.

When I was 16, I felt stronger on a road bike, so I wanted to put more ef­fort into that. I joined the Bi­cis­port Calgary Cy­cling Club.

And now you’re study­ing at the Univer­sity of Calgary? Yes, I am study­ing ki­ne­si­ol­ogy. It’s re­ally busy, but there are a few stu­dents on Rally Cy­cling, so we fit in study ses­sions around our train­ing rides to make it work. Katherine Maine is in ki­ne­si­ol­ogy. Allison Bev­eridge is in the same pro­gram as me. Kelly [Catlin] is at school in math; Emma White is in com­puter sci­ence. Gillian Ell­say is also tak­ing some classes. Erica Al­lar is tak­ing her masters in ed­u­ca­tion. One of our rid­ers is still fin­ish­ing high school.

How do you all fit in your stud­ies when at a train­ing camp? When we’re at a train­ing camp, we’re train­ing to­gether. Then we have time to­gether off the bike. Then we all have our time where we need to do our re­cov­ery stuff, and study as well. We give each other time to work alone, but also fig­ure out when we need time to­gether.

It’s pretty funny. We will talk a lot about what cour­ses we’re tak­ing, and we’re also good at keep­ing each other mo­ti­vated to study in the evenings.

Last year in Colorado, you swept all of the jer­seys at the Colorado Clas­sic af­ter leav­ing the en­tire pelo­ton be­hind. What was that like? I’ve wanted to race in Colorado for a long time be­cause it’s such a beau­ti­ful. That event was a lot of fun. Some of my team­mates and I went down a week early to get alti­tude-ready and get fa­mil­iar with the area. The race was on beau­ti­ful roads through parks, and then way up in Breck­en­ridge the next day. It was a re­ally good event over­all.

How have you de­vel­oped your race-craft skills? I think our team has done a re­ally good job of de­vel­op­ing those skills. Rally Cy­cling has rid­ers who have a lot of skills and who can give us ad­vice. We al­ways have a de­tailed plan go­ing into every race, and then al­ways have a de­brief af­ter, so we’re learn­ing from our mis­takes at every event, too.

Who do you look up to in the sport? Leah Kirch­mann has been my men­tor through the Bridge the Gap pro­gram, and has been an amaz­ing role model for all cy­clists in Canada. She’s al­ways been good at com­mu­ni­cat­ing with me even though she’s busy rac­ing. She al­ways takes the time to reach out to see what’s go­ing on.

Most of her ad­vice is tied to spe­cific sit­u­a­tions, so it re­ally helps me un­der­stand the de­tails of the sport.

“Leah Kirch­mann has been my men­tor through the Bridge the Gap pro­gram, and has been an amaz­ing role model for all cy­clists in Canada. ”

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