Age: 18, Discipline: XC Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Sporting Roots: Karate, Gymnastics, Running
In 2017, I started participating in some local mountain bike races. I joined a team later that year and that’s when I really started to enjoy it. The social aspect of riding is probably my favourite, I love going on big group rides or rides with just a few friends and having a good time. When I’m not riding my bike I spend a lot of time painting portraits of people’s dogs. I’ve always been really interested in art so it’s nice to have something else to do outside of biking. I’m hoping one day I will be able to do custom paint jobs for people’s bikes, shoes, helmets, and other things like that.
Q & A with Nicole
Tell us about your first race.
My first race was an Ontario Cup just outside of Toronto, I didn’t know what I was doing at all, I didn’t know pre-riding the course was a thing, and I certainly was not fast. I finished probably around 10 minutes behind the winner. It was a good experience but I definitely didn’t think it would take me anywhere. I really liked the race environment and the positive attitude that everyone had which I think is why I went back for more.
Discipline & why you chose it.
I chose XC mostly because I find it the most enjoyable and because I like being outside and in the forest. The course is also always different depending on where you are in Canada or in the world.
My family bikes as well so I’ve always enjoyed going out for rides with them. We still go out for rides pretty often in the summer.
How do you prepare for a race?
To prepare for a race I always get in as much quality course riding as I can. Depending on the course I usually spend the first day checking out all the features (and the B lines just in case!) and making sure I get them all down as best I can. I spend the rest of my pre-rides getting the course dialed at speed and maybe running through some of the features again. The night before the race I like to visualize the course and lots of different race day scenarios in my head.
On race day I start with some oatmeal when I wake up, then some carbs (either rice or pasta) three hours before the race. I have a snack around 1-2 hours before the race, something easily digestible. Then I start my warm up about an hour before the race which gives me lots of time to get my whole warm up in and stop at the team tent if I need to. Then get to staging, take a gel, and wait until go time!
I chose my Trek Supercaliber because it seemed like a good medium between a full suspension and a hard tail. I rode a Procaliber in 2019 and on some of the courses I definitely felt like I needed a bit of suspension. At the time I didn’t want 100mm of travel in the back so the Supercaliber seemed like a great fit with its 60mm of rear travel. So far it has been great for climbing and descending in races.
I wanted a dropper post that I could easily and quickly swap out for my straight post depending on my course, so the RockShox Reverb Axs was perfect for the job.
The specialized power saddle is a great fit for me. It is super comfortable over long rides and also during racing. I have the same saddle on my road bike and I find it great for endurance blocks and long rides.
I have 165mm SRAM Eagle XX1 cranks (I have short legs) with a Quarq power meter spider. The power meter has been amazing so far, it is top quality, easy to use, and it shows lots of cool stats like which leg I favoured during my rides.
Shock: Trek IsoStrut, Fox Factory shock, air spring, DPS 2-position remote damper 235mm x 32.5mm
TR32 + DT Swiss 180
So far the wheels have been fantastic! They’ve been great for racing and for just riding. I rode them for a couple weeks at Tzouhalem and they handled everything super well. I’ve done a few races on them and they roll really smooth and feel super light. I flatted on some sharp rocks in one of my races and the wheel took no damage which was awesome. Good to see how durable they are!
Tires: Rekon Race 2.25
I have been riding Maxxis tires for a little over two years, they have a large selection of XC tires, and I have only flatted once with them. For races I run Ikons if it’s super dry and Rekon Races when it is damp or slick.
From Canada To The World Cup
My 2022 race schedule will be larger than last year. At the end of April I did my first races as a U23 in Arkansas. I raced three days with two XCOs and one short track. In May I will be heading out to Europe again for the 2nd and 3rd World Cups of the season. I also plan on racing a few Canada Cups this year in Quebec and Alberta, National Championships in Ontario, and hopefully another trip to Europe. I also hope to get out to some cyclocross World Cups and UCI races in the fall.
2021 Mountain Bike And Race Accomplishments
Last year (2021) the race season was a bit short because everything was just starting up again after COVID-19. I went over to Quebec to race two Canada Cups in June. I went to Europe in August for the Junior Mountain Bike and Road World Championships in Val di Sole and Flanders. I also raced three cyclocross World Cups in the US last fall.
Mountain Bike (Junior Women)
1st – Canada Cup #1, St. Félicien
1st – Canada Cup #2, Sherbrooke
3rd – Proffix Swiss Cup
16th – UCI Junior Mountain Bike World Championships
Road (Junior Women)
22nd – UCI Time Trial World Championships Attended UCI World Championships
2nd – Watersley Ladies Challenge Nations Cup (Stage 1, 8th) (Stage 2, 1st)
2nd – Charlevoix GC (Elite Women)
Cyclocross (U23 Women)
7th – Jingle Cross World Cup
9th – Trek World Cup Waterloo
15th – Fayetteville World Cup
Next year I plan to race the XCO World Cups again and as many Canada Cups as I can. I am definitely hoping to attend the World Championships over the next four years as a U23.