Less than a week after an impressive ride at the world championships in Doha, Qatar Joëlle Numinaville is focused on preparing for two upcoming exams. The offseason in full swing the focus is now on academics. “I have two exams next week I am preparing for right now,” said Numainville from her place in Montreal. “I have no idea when I will be back on the bike. It hasn’t crossed my mind.”
Numainville, the two-time Canadian national road champion and top-ten finisher at the 2016 road world championships in Doha, just signed a contract with Cylance Pro Cycling for the 2017 season. The Cylance team was founded ahead of the 2016 season and focuses on a calendar of races in Europe and North American. The switch will mean Numainville has opportunities to target more races in the U.S. which are some of her favourite on the calendar.
“It was super hard to do full time in Europe, I came out of it strong and I learned so much,” Numainville said about her past two season racing in Europe with Bigla-Cervélo. “I saw how to win, how to race in hard conditions but I always knew I really enjoyed racing in the U.S. I gained so much fitness these past two years and now I want to use it to win some races. That was the main factor in making this decision.”
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Numainville is working towards completing a master’s degree in finance which she started a few years ago. The decision to come back to a North American team means that she will also have the opportunity to focus on a degree she hopes will play an important role in her future after cycling. “It’s very demanding and I’m going to put a lot of effort into that,” she said about completing her studies. After finishing her master’s Numinaville plans to focus on passing the CFA (Chartered Financial Analysis) exam. “I think this year it will be challenging with the CFA exam preparation. I am ready and willing.”
Numainville’s 2016 season was a bit of a mixed bag. “I didn’t do as good in March and April,” she said about her performance in the early season spring classics. “I think not getting my fitness high enough for those races was the biggest mistake of last season.”
Numainville stormed back to form following the national road championships in which she finished second. She went on to win three races during B.C. Superweek including the UCI White Spot/Delta Road Race and then was fourth at La Course by le Tour de France. She followed that up with her first Women’s WorldTour podium at the Grand Prix de Plouay and capped her season off with ninth in Qatar.
“One of the things I am really missing is a world championships podium, I am getting closer and closer each year,” Numainville explained about her future ambitions after finishing ninth in Qatar and 11th at the world championships in Richmond last year.
Numainville approaches sport and studies with the same concentration. “Just as it is in cycling you have to prepare, if you are not prepared you will come stressed out to the class. If you are sharp, lean and fit then you are more confident at bike race. It’s all about the preparations.”