Medal haul pushes cyclist

Road training starts on heels of national track competition

Sarah Van Dam competes in the U17 Women’s Team Sprint final at the Canadian Track Championships April 1. She returned with five gold medals.

Sarah Van Dam competes in the U17 Women’s Team Sprint final at the Canadian Track Championships April 1. She returned with five gold medals.

Sarah Van Dam starts spring training for road racing on a high with a medal haul from the recent Canadian Junior Track Championships.

The Oak Bay High student finished second at nationals last year, setting her up for a more informed competition this year.

“I got all the experience last year,” she said. “It helped learning to not always focus on the outcome but the steps to get there.”

At 14, Van Dam competes in the U17 category and came home with five gold medals as the TripleShot Cycling Club Youth Team set five Canadian records at the 2016 National Track Cycling Championships at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ont.

Her foray into track cycling started with a BikeJam, the annual West Shore event to introduce youth to myriad cycling sports.

“That’s where I got started,” she said. The past three years of track cycling fulfills her need for speed, as did the recent competition of a dozen races over three days.

Van Dam earned gold in Team Sprint with a U17 women’s composite team with Quebec’s Simone Boilard; Individual Pursuit (2:35.810); Sprint; Time Trial (500m in 38.232); and Scratch.

Van Dam trains six or seven days a week, including twice-weekly strength training and bike work that includes “a lot of spin right now because our velodrome is too wet.”

The team travelled a handful of times to a Lower Mainland indoor track and took a training trip to Chico, Calif. a week before nationals

“That helped immensely. We did a lot of specific training,” she said. “We didn’t know how we were going to perform. We did all we could to be ready.”

During nationals they faced teams with the upper hand from routine training on indoor tracks, she said. For example, the track is necessary to practice starts and pursuit. “If you have a bad start it can mess up your whole race,” she said.

Now her training leaps into road racing, targeting provincials in July.

“I have to get my endurance back, it means a lot of hill climbing because it’s in Penticton,” she said.

Similar to her track circuit, she has experience from last year to help her through.

What she did miss this year, was Bike Jam, where she likes to volunteer.

“It’s something I enjoy and like bringing it to someone else so they can try it,” she said. “It’s sharing a passion.”

That passion pushes her as she aims for junior worlds “in a couple years” and ultimately to represent Canada in the Olympics.

Alongside Van Dam in the U17 category, Riley Pickrell (Claremont secondary) claimed two Canadian records and took home four gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

Erin Attwell (Maria Montessori School/Canadian Sport School Victoria) set three Canadian records, took two gold and three silver, and raced to a qualifying spot for the 2016 World Junior Track Cycling Championships. Adam Attwell (Maria Montessori) held his own in a competitive field after transferring to cycling three months ago from a successful high school rowing season, racing individual races in his first year as a U19 rider.

“This is the second national track championships in five months, due to Cycling Canada moving the national championships to the spring,” said head coach Lister Farrar. “These four riders are to be commended for their maturity in racing and commitment to training.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read