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Junior champ Kinley Gibson debuting in the elite field at Canadian nationals

Kinley Gibson won the Banff Bike Fest GC
Kinley Gibson won the Banff Bike Fest GC
Kinley Gibson (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes) won the Banff Bike Fest GC. Photo: Jeff Bartlett

Kinley Gibson is making her debut in the elite field at the Canadian national championships this year. In 2013, she won the junior women’s time trial and was third in the road race. In 2014, the 19-year-old from Edmonton will line up with Canada’s top pros.

“[This year] I’ve done a lot more racing leading into nationals, trying to learn the ropes of riding in bigger fields with faster women,” said Gibson. “I’ve become more comfortable in big packs, but I still have a lot to learn.”

This season has marked another first for Gibson: it’s her first year with a road team. In November, she officially became part of the Vancouver-based Trek Red Truck Racing. While she says the racing has been challenging, she’s shown she has the skills and abilities to compete, and win. At the recent Lake Louise Road Race, part of the Banff Bike Fest, Gibson broke away from the pack 10 km into the 81-km race. She stayed away for the win. The next day she won the Vermilion Lakes ITT and was competitive in the Banff Criterium. She took the GC win for Banff Bike Fest as her teammates Allison Beveridge and Leah Guloien took the second and third spots overall.

Gibson prepared for Thursday’s national championship time trial with motor pacing on the track. Her plan was to crack the top 10, which she did. She was ninth in the combined field of elite and under-23 women, 2:34.18 back from winner Leah Kirchmann. In the under-23 category, she was just off the podium: fourth, behind Jasmin Glaesser in first, followed by Alizée Brien and Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin.

On Friday, Gibson will ride in the women’s national championship road race. Her goals for that event are a bit more modest. “For the road race, I’d just like to survive and help out my teammates in any way I can,” she said. “The hills are going to really test me as a rider. If I can stick with the peloton, I’ll consider that a success.”

Soon after the national championship criterium on Sunday, Gibson will head west to BC Superweek. Following that event, it’s south to Bend, Ore., for the Cascade Cycling Classic.