Canada’s Sean Mackinnon takes stock of the 2016 London track world championships, looks ahead to a new road season
The Canadian rider looks back on the track season's apex in London—and says goodbye to a teammate and friend.
World championships is a wrap. I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight and can’t believe it is over. I have now competed at three world championships in my short cycling career and this is one that I will never forget.
It is always easy to chase after everything and forget to stop and see just how far we really have come. We haven’t stepped up to the level of many of our Canadian teammates who are competing for the win every time they step out on the track, but hey, you have to start from somewhere.
The Men’s Track Endurance (MTE) program began just over two years ago and you can see we have come a long way, with even more to come. There were many coaches and athletes who congratulated us on making it to the world championships this year.
The team pursuit was the only event I competed in at this world championships and it was a solid performance. Not the breakthrough ride we were hoping to have, but we rode only 1/10th of a second of our goal time, despite some technical issues that saw us riding with just three riders for about half the race. We can’t ask for much more than that.
Racing was only one of the many highlights on this trip. The other two world championships I competed in, in I flew in, raced, then left the next day. It was so cool getting to watch Annie (Foreman-Mackey) and Steph (Roorda) take bronze medals in the individual pursuit and scratch races, and then watching the women’s team pursuit taking a well-deserved silver medal.
The atmosphere was something I have never experienced before. Every day the track was sold out. The people here in England appreciate track cycling in a way that exceeds anything I have ever seen.
Watching the team pursuit finals basically had my jaw on the floor. I think that when we do a cracking ride and we come off the track unable to stand, that is my absolute limit. Seeing others leave absolutely everything out on the track is a wild sight to see because I have such an appreciation for what that feels like. Chatting with the boys from the team, that is one of the things we are now thinking: maybe those few seconds we think we have at the end of a race are well within our reach, it’s just a matter of finding a way to tighten the screws a bit more and leave even more out on the track.
The track season is officially done. I don’t have to ride in circles for at least a few months. Up next is a bit of training at home, then off to Europe for some Nations Cup events, along with a few stage races. It will be really nice to switch the focus over to the road and look at some new goals. Who knows? Maybe watching those finals will give me a bit extra on the road.
This world championships marks the official goodbye to one of my very good friends and probably the best teammate I have ever had, Remi Pelletier-Roy. Remi, you will be missed on and off the tack, with your leadership while racing and your many sayings that are lost in translation from French to English. I don’t think I there is someone more committed to seeing things through. We would not be where we are today without him and he will be greatly missed.
We all wish him the very best as he returns to medical school in the fall to finish up his degree. Cheers Rem!